LRB-appointed mediator urged to deal with imminent layoffs, say health unions

News release

Printer Friendly Version

Health unions are pushing for an early meeting with a mediator, appointed today by the Labour Relations Board, to see if he can help convince health employers to put layoffs on hold while efforts are made to secure a new contract covering 43,000 hospital and long-term care workers.

“There’s a real urgency to the situation now facing our members,” says Hospital Employees’ Union secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “Health employers have issued pink slips to 2500 workers since bargaining began and hundreds are slated to lose their jobs while mediation takes place.

“It’s critical that health employers show good faith during mediation,” says Allnutt, who also speaks for the multi-union bargaining association. “Otherwise, they’re just delaying resolution of this contract dispute while they continue to cut front-line services and eliminate decent jobs.”

In the face of massive concessions demands from the Health Employers Association of B.C. totaling nearly $900 million over three years, health care workers delivered an 89 per cent strike mandate to union negotiators.

Earlier this week, the unions demanded that health employers publicly disclose the provisions of all relevant documents — including deals they’ve inked with private corporations — to justify their position that they can’t put contracting out on hold. HEABC has so far refused to do so.

Contact: Mike Old, communications director, 604-828-6771 (cell)