Community health agreement ratified
Workers in the community health sector have voted in favour of a three-year contract reached with health employers. The new collective agreement will take effect April 1, 2019 and will expire on March 31, 2022.
The agreement includes yearly wage increases of two per cent in each of the next three years as well as enhanced benefits, provisions for improved scheduling, and steps to address staff recruitment and retention.
Approximately 2,300 HEU members work in the sector in mental health and addiction services, community service agencies, seniors’ services, health authorities and home care support.
“This agreement recognizes that low wages in this sector have persisted far too long and need to be addressed,” says HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside.
The tentative agreement was reached in mid-June following several weeks of negotiations between the multi-union Community Health Bargaining Association (CBA) and the Health Employers Association of British Columbia (HEABC).
Highlights of the agreement include:
- Wage increases of six per cent over three years for all workers.
- Improved employment security provisions.
- The creation of a task force to investigate guaranteed hours and additional funding.
The CBA represents about 16,000 unionized workers in B.C. In addition to HEU, members are represented by the following unions: BCGEU, UFCW, CUPE, HSA, USWA, CLAC and BCNU.