Community health contract ratified

Bargaining bulletin

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Community health workers from all unions in the sector have ratified a new contract by a margin of 78 per cent.

HEU’s 1500 members in community health finished balloting on the tentative agreement yesterday voting 78 per cent to reject the deal. CUPE community health workers also rejected the tentative contract.

But the majority of the sector’s 13,000 members — most represented by the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union — voted to accept the terms of settlement.

The new collective agreement extends the terms of the current contract to 2006 but with several modifications including a delay in the implementation of pension coverage, a wage rollback of 4.06 per cent and elimination of the principle of comparability with facilities workers.

“HEU members made an important statement at the ballot box,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“They’ve signaled to health employers and government that the fight for equitable treatment of community health workers and clients is far from over.

“Premier Campbell and his government have shown total disrespect for community health clients and for the people who care for them,” adds Allnutt. “We’ll be working with the other unions in the sector to make sure British Columbians remember the chaos this government has created in health care.”