Community health reaches tentative agreement

Bargaining bulletin

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A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT for community health workers has been reached and includes pay increases, stronger employment security and contracting-out protections, and measures to improve health and safety.

The multi-union community health bargaining association says that this is a good, solid settlement that meets the priorities set by the subsector’s 13,000 workers.

The four-year agreement – that covers health care workers who provide home support services for the elderly and infirm, care givers in mental health group homes, drug and alcohol counsellors, and health authority administrative staff – was reached Saturday morning.

It provides compound wage increases of 11.4 per cent over four years, including:

  • in year one a general wage increase of 1.5 per cent, plus a 3.5 per cent market adjustment to narrow the wage differential with the facilities subsector;
  • in the subsequent three years, pay rates will increase by two per cent annually;
  • additional adjustments for targeted classifications, including LPNs; and
  • enhanced severance payments that will act as a disincentive to contracting out and retendering of service contracts.
Workers covered by the agreement will also receive one-time signing bonuses of $4,200, and starting April 1 they will now be covered by a proper pension plan.

HEU is part of a multi-union bargaining association. Community health members Lou Black (St. James), Marci Fisk (Cheshire), Graham O’Neill (North Shore Community) and HEU staff persons Chris Dorais and Sue Fisher represented HEU’s 1,500 workers in the talks.

“Our community health bargaining committee has done an excellent job standing up for the needs of their clients and residents, and voicing the priorities and concerns of members,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

HEU’s Provincial Executive will be reviewing the community health tentative agreement in the next few days.