15/02/01

News release
Union’s chief bargaining spokesperson will be available to local media at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday

Local union activists from health care facilities around the Okanagan are gathering in Kelowna tomorrow where they’ll receive an update on collective bargaining from their union’s chief bargaining spokesperson.

Chris Allnutt, secretary-business manager of the 46,000 member Hospital Employees’ Union, will tell local union leaders what progress has been made after seven weeks at the bargaining table. HEU’s main contracts expire March 31. Media are invited to the beginning of the session Wednesday afternoon.

Who: Chris Allnutt, secretary-business manager, Hospital Employees’ Union When: 3:30 - 3:45 pm Wednesday, February 28 Where: Royal Anne Hotel, 348 Bernard Avenue HEU is bargaining together with other unions representing a total of 60,000 health services and support workers in hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centres, long-term care homes, community agencies and regional health authorities across B.C. The main issues at the bargaining table are:

  • wage and benefit parity for community caregivers;
  • measures to reduce the skyrocketing on-the-job injury rate in health care;
  • higher staffing in long-term care;
  • a key initiative on training to address the looming skills shortages in B.C.’s health care system; and
  • a fair wage increase.

There are about 2300 HEU members in the area administered by the Okanagan Similkameen Health Region. Altogether, HEU represents approximately 4600 health care workers in an area stretching from Penticton to Kamloops and from Lillooett to Revelstoke.

-30- For more information, contact at 604-734-3431: Dale Fuller, communications officer, 604-818-5105 (cell)