Talks begin for community health workers

Bargaining bulletin
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Bargaining for more than 1,500 HEU members working in the community health subsector got underway Tuesday in Burnaby. Wages, job security, and making up for previous rollbacks and cuts implemented by the provincial government are key issues.

Community care givers provide home support services ranging from medication supervision to help with bathing. They work in mental health group homes, health authority administration and provide alcohol and drug counselling services.

Province-wide, there are 13,000 community health workers covered by these talks and they're represented by a number of different unions which negotiate together in a bargaining association.

The BCGEU is the largest union involved, representing some 8,000 care givers. Other unions include the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518, 2,500 workers; the Health Sciences Association, 600 workers; the Canadian Union of Public Employees, 520 workers; and the Professional Employees Association, 175 workers.

Other smaller unions in the sector are represented in the talks by the Canadian Auto Workers.

Employers are represented by the Health Employers Association of B.C. The union bargaining association for community health meets with HEABC January 24-26 and is expected to meet three days a week through March.

The existing contract expires March 31.