Community sector workers awarded $4 million to address wage and benefit disparities

HEU community sector workers certified after November 2, 1998 are entitled to increased monetary benefits under the 1998-2001 community subsector collective agreement says government-appointed special officer Vincent Ready. In a decision handed down last week, Ready recommended that the provincial government make $4 million available to the Health Employers Association of B.C. in order to address the wage and benefit disparities.

“This is very good news for our community members who have not experienced the full benefits of their collective agreement,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “Ready has recognized the inequities that exist in the sector and has taken concrete steps to ensure that these are addressed without further delay.”

Ready has instructed the community sector unions, including HEU and the BCGEU, and HEABC to meet immediately and negotiate the distribution of the $4 million by January 31, 2001. He has maintained jurisdiction as an expedited arbitrator in the case, and will be available to settle any disagreements arising from the implementation of the decision.

“All of HEU joins our community sisters and brothers is celebrating Ready’s decision. It’s a real victory for fairness and justice,” says Allnutt.

Approximately 250 HEU community sector members are affected by Ready’s decision. They work at: 18th Street Community Care Society, Bella Coola Home Support, Brookswood Court, Flora Esson House, Fort Nelson-Liard Community Home Support, Gabriola Home Support, Hermosa Home, Jubilee Care House, Keremeos and District Home Support, Prince George Mental Health Services/Elderly Services, Para-Med Prince George, Para-Med Coquitlam, Para-Med Richmond, Para-Med Surrey, Para-Med Vancouver, Para-Med Victoria, Penticton Health Centre, South Cariboo Family Services, St. Bernard House, Urquhart House, Vel-Rey Lodge and Vernon and District Home Support.