Community health talks resume Feb. 28

Bargaining bulletin

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Employment security along with health and safety issues will be up for discussion as contract talks for 13,000 workers in the community health sector resume February 28 in Vancouver.

Health employers are expected to table job security provisions in response to the unions’ opening position to restore some measure of security and stability for workers in the community sector.

Bargaining on this issue has been challenging because of the Campbell government’s contract-busting Bill 29. That act, which was rammed through the legislature in 2002, seeks to restrict the rights of workers in this section to job security protections.

The Health Employers Association of BC is also expected to continue to press for concessionary benefit changes.

Talks kick off this week on a muted note after negotiations last Friday ended badly. Union proposals to address administrative work - which workers do an average of 15 minutes a day on their own time - and overnight shifts were both unnecessarily ridiculed by the employer.

HEU represents 1,500 of the 13,000 workers in the community health subsector. HEU’s community health bargaining committee members are: Lou Black, Marci Fisk, and Graham O’Neill.