Tentative agreement in community health

Bargaining bulletin

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PE, new bargaining committee to review deal next week

HEU's bargaining committee and Provincial Executive will hold meetings next week to review the terms of a tentative community health contract reached with health employers.

After reviewing the tentative deal, the PE will decide whether to recommend to HEU community health workers that they vote for or against the deal.

The union association representing community health workers has approved the tentative agreement which was reached with the Health Employers Association of B.C. this past weekend.

The deal was reached in the face of a large concessions package demanded by health employers that included a 17 per cent wage rollback and deep cuts to benefits.

The tentative contract would:
  • extend the current agreement to 2006 with important modifications;
  • reduce wages by 4.06 per cent;
  • eliminate comparability and standardization of wage and benefit levels (was three per cent per year);
  • delay Municipal Pension Plan enrolment scheduled for January 1, 2004 until April 1, 2006 (previous RRSP and pension plans will be reinstated);
  • reduce dental exam coverage to every nine months from every six months;
  • maintain current employees’ vacation but new employees will earn vacation at a reduced rate;
  • remove casual employees from the list if they are unavailable for work without a valid reason for six months;
  • provide some disincentives to contracting out when the number affected exceeds 1,700 workers (1,100 full-time equivalents) out of the 13,000 workers (8,263 FTEs) in the sector;
  • include regional posting provisions that allow employees to apply for positions in health authorities and vice-versa;
  • provide priority hiring, including ported seniority and benefits, for employees where contracts are retendered or where services are transferred to another collective agreement employer;
  • provide access to the casual list while on recall;
  • restore bumping language on January 1, 2006; and
  • maintain superior wages and benefits.
HEU is one of nine unions in the association and represents 1,500 of the 13,000 community health workers.

HEU's community health workers are advised to check the bargaining hotline and the website for details of the tentative contract, the recommendation of the PE on ratification and a schedule for the ratification votes.