Bargaining begins in facilities subsector

Bargaining bulletin

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Bargaining for a new collective agreement to represent health care workers in B.C.’s hospitals and long-term care facilities is set to begin on December 17 and 18 in Vancouver.

After the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) met on December 14 in HEU’s Provincial Office, two days of talks with the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) to begin negotiations were confirmed.

Judy Darcy, HEU secretary-business manager and spokesperson for the FBA, is pleased that negotiations will start this week.

“We welcome the opportunity to begin bargaining before the New Year,” says Darcy.

“There is a lot to discuss with employers about improving health care delivery to British Columbians, providing job security and maintaining benefits for our members, and increasing compensation for LPNs, nursing unit assistants and certain other occupations with significantly greater responsibilities, educational requirements or recruitment and retention problems.”

Efforts to start talks have been able to move quickly since HEU’s provincial bargaining committee met for three days in November. Early in December, the HEU provincial bargaining committee convened again and continued their review of priorities and demands. On December 7, they had a joint session with HEU’s Provincial Executive.

The Facilities Bargaining Association Council came together on December 14, and then the FBA Negotiating Committee – the FBA group of representatives that sits at the table with health employers – met on December 16.

The FBA is comprised of 10 unions including the Hospital Employees’ Union – the largest union in the sector – the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

HEU is currently running a television ad that profiles our members and the work they do in health care. It began airing December 9 on T.V. stations across B.C. and will continue until December 23.