Windermere, Inglewood care aides vote to join HEU

Labour board says employer interfered with organizing drive, throws out voluntary agreement with CLAC

Printer Friendly Version

Care aides employed by private contractor Simpe ‘Q’ Care Inc., and working at two Lower Mainland seniors’ residential facilities have overwhelmingly chosen to become members of the Hospital Employees’ Union after the Labour Relations Board ordered the union’s representation votes counted on July 27.

At Windermere Care Centre in Vancouver and Inglewood Care Centre in West Vancouver, care aides voted 87 per cent and 96 per cent respectively in favour of joining HEU.

LRB vice-chair Jan O’Brien ordered the vote count at Windermere after concluding that Simpe ‘Q’ had “breached Section 6(1) of the Code by interfering in its employees’ choice of bargaining agent” and that voluntary recognition agreement with the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) “is not in force at Windermere”.

In her decision, O’Brien further instructed that “If the Windermere representation vote favours the certification of the HEU…then the Inglewood representation vote…will be counted.”

The vote at Windermere took place on May 4 and at Inglewood on May 8 but both remained sealed pending the outcome of the LRB hearing.

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says that the labour board ruling, and the results of the two votes, are a victory for workers.

“The care aides at Windermere and Inglewood do have the right to choose their own union, and the labour board recognized and upheld that right,” says Darcy.

“I am very pleased that they voted so solidly to become HEU members and applaud their determination in the face of intimidation and employer interference.”

Darcy says that getting a first collective agreement is the next order of business.

“In preparation for negotiations with Simpe ‘Q’, we’ll be holding meetings with our Windermere and Inglewood members to determine their bargaining priorities and elect a bargaining committee.

“Our goal is to get to the bargaining table and reach a first contract as soon as possible,” says Darcy.

Thursday’s votes mean that 316 Simpe ‘Q’ employees – 161 care aides working at Windermere and 155 care aides working at Inglewood – are HEU’s newest members.