Meeting with labour minister sets tone for bargaining 2006

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Free collective bargaining, better wages and working conditions, and recognition of the value of HEU members’ work were key issues discussed when HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy and president Fred Muzin met with new provincial labour minister Mike De Jong on August 3.

“The meeting with the labour minister was an important first step in re-establishing a relationship with Victoria,” says Darcy.

“We’re hopeful that the Campbell government will take every opportunity to build a more cooperative and constructive relationship with our union.

“It’s time to end the chaos and confrontation that’s characterized health care — and labour relations with health care workers — over the last four years.”

Muzin says that there’s no question that HEU members are feeling undervalued and unrecognized for the work they do.

“Minister De Jong indicated a willingness to learn about the varied and critical roles HEU members play in health care, and the challenges they face providing quality care to British Columbians.

“Our members know what’s working and what’s not and they’re looking forward to educating their MLAs,” Muzin says.

Other topics discussed included the heavy workloads health care workers are shouldering and bargaining first collective agreements for the 3,000 HEU members who work for Sodexho, Aramark and Compass.