Memorandum limits health care privatization, protects jobs

Bargaining bulletin

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In the face of escalating labour protests over Bill 37, the B.C. Federation of Labour and HEU have forced concessions to the Campbell Liberals’ unjust law that will limit some of the legislation’s most damaging consequences and restrict privatization in B.C.'s health care system.

The two-year memorandum provides for:
  • an enhanced severance fund of $25 million for health care workers displaced by contracting-out;
  • a cap on further contracting-out at 600 FTEs;
  • no retroactive payback on wage rollbacks, and
  • no recriminations for any union members or unions, following workers' return to work on Monday.
Vince Ready will be the binding arbitrator on all issues arising from this memorandum.

"It's far from perfect but it limits some of the worst aspects of Bill 37 and it puts a hard cap on contracting out," says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

Allnutt says he is extremely proud of HEU members "who in the face of intimidation and government's all-out attack on the value of their work, stood up for public health care and their fundamental rights as workers to be treated with dignity and respect."

"Every HEU member who put themselves on the line to protest this government's vindictive legislative attack on health care's front-line workers can be proud," he says.

HEU members are now being asked to return to work for their next shift.

"Together with all the trade unionists and community supporters who stood with us, we have demonstrated - for all to see - that this premier and his government cannot continue to degrade workers and sell off our public assets without challenge," says Allnutt.