#22 HEABC shortens concession list

Bargaining bulletin

Employer turnaround linked to pressure from strike vote call

In a sign that last week’s strike vote call is having the desired effect, the Health Employers Association of B.C. removed a number of their concession demands off the health services and support bargaining table this morning. HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt welcomed the employers’ move as a signal that the unions’ strike vote call is resulting in a renewed focus on reaching a negotiated settlement. And he said the bargaining committee would meet through lunch to prepare a counterproposal to build momentum at the bargaining table.

“This is a very significant move by employers,” says Allnutt. “Though there are still serious concessions on the table, HEABC has backed up their commitment to reaching a settlement by month’s end by moving away from a number of other concessionary positions.

“It’s no accident that these developments have taken place as 60,000 front-line health care workers prepare to cast strike vote ballots,”adds Allnutt. “And it underscores the importance of delivering a strong “yes” vote from as many of our members as possible.”

The list of concession crossed off HEABC’s wish list includes:

  • cuts to annual vacation;
  • unilateral decrease in part-time hours;
  • delays in paying out scheduled wage increases;
  • review of housekeeping and laundry benchmarks; and
  • right to unilaterally change required job qualifications.
“These were poor proposals and we’re glad to see the last of them,” says Allnutt. “We’re looking forward to some serious discussions on our proposals to improve the health care system — and movement on other employer concessions like cutting benefits to injured workers.”

You can find the latest strike vote information including province-wide strike vote schedules here