Health unions to meet with HEABC to seek extension to arbitration deadline

The Hospital Employees’ Union and its labour partners in the facilities subsector have secured a meeting with the Health Employers Association of B.C. to discuss extending the deadline for choosing arbitration of the compensation cuts contained in last week’s Bill 37.

Under the legislation, which imposes a collective agreement on health care workers, unions can opt for a straight 11 per cent cut to the hourly wage or ask an arbitrator to distribute a ten per cent cut among wages, overtime, premiums, on-call differentials, statutory holidays, vacations, leaves and health and welfare benefits.

In the legislation, the deadline to request the arbitrated option is May 13 but the union has asked for additional time so that it can canvass union members on the issue.

The meeting with HEABC takes place on Monday.

HEU’s provincial executive wants to put the option of arbitration to a membership vote, but will not be taking a position on the question.