Compass walks away from mediation talks

Important notice to HEU members regarding essential services planning, information meetings and solidarity actions.
Bargaining bulletin

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Information meeting schedule

Whats happening with Compass bargaining in VIHA and PHSA?

As of January 27, Compass has chosen to walk away from both bargaining and mediation with HEU members.

It is the union’s position that this refusal to negotiate is unnecessary and obstructs the possibility of achieving the best outcomes for both parties.

There are many important outstanding issues to discuss with the employer. Compass’ decision to leave the bargaining table and move into mediation and essential services discussions was premature and has undermined both parties’ ability to negotiate a fair and meaningful collective agreement.

From the beginning of negotiations, Compass has chosen to take a confrontational, non-cooperative approach. This has undermined the process of collective bargaining.

Both Sodexo and Aramark, who hold similar commercial contracts in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health authorities, continue to meet with HEU members at the bargaining table.

What does this mean for HEU members employed by Compass?

Compass has created a situation where we must prepare for essential services staffing, and put pressure on the employer to take bargaining seriously and to get back to the table.

Together, and with the support of HEU staff, we must take action now to build solidarity between members, to build solidarity with other health care workers, and to gather support within our communities.

Important membership meeting dates and locations!

Membership meetings have been organized, to provide a full report and discuss next steps. A meeting schedule is attached to this bulletin.

Important membership meeting dates and locations!

  • Membership meetings have been organized, to provide a full report and discuss next steps. A meeting schedule is listed at the bottom of this bulletin.

Bargaining timeline

  • HEU bargaining committees first exchanged proposals with Compass in a meeting on October 16.
  • Bargaining sessions at the Compass PHSA table took place on October 16 and 17, and on November 13, 19 and 20. Talks at the Compass VIHA table took place October 21 and 22, and November 17 and 18.
  • The two parties discussed only non-monetary issues during those nine days of bargaining. The bargaining committees presented proposals related to OH&S, improved grievance procedures and other solutions to address members’ concerns.
  • Although there were several more days of bargaining scheduled for the last week in November, Compass informed the HEU on November 21 that they were preparing a final position on all non-monetary and monetary matters. As a result, there have been no further bargaining meetings between the parties.
  • The employer’s final positions were delivered in writing to the union in mid-December. Also in December, Compass applied to the B.C. Labour Relations Board (LRB) for an informal meeting on essential services.
  • On January 16, Compass applied to the LRB for mediation under Section 74 of the B.C. Labour Code.
  • On January 26 and 27, HEU and Compass met with LRB mediator Grant McArthur to review the outstanding issues. On January 27, HEU presented the living wage proposal, along with benefits and pension proposals. Compass chose not to respond to any of those items.

Summary of Compass’ final position:

  • Wages: 3% effective September 30, 2008, 3% effective September 19, 2009, 3% effective September 19, 2010. These increases bring the housekeeper/laundry/food server rate from $13.05 to $14.25 per hour in the last year of the agreement.
  • Eliminate transportation and parking allowance for employees called back to work.
  • Increase the amount employees pay for subsidized meals.
  • Change the grievance-arbitration language, making it less effective in resolving disputes.
  • Reduce the length of time the employer is required to post jobs.
  • Employees to “earn” sick leave of half a day per month (non-cumulative).
  • End all benefits at age 65.
  • Withhold $75 from each employee as a refundable deposit for uniforms, keys and swipe cards.
  • Introduce an attendance monitoring program, requiring proof of illness documents from employees (at the employee’s expense).

This final position:

  • Does not provide a living wage.
  • Does not include any benefit improvements.
  • Does not include a pension plan.
  • Does not include any language focused on lowering injury rates.
  • Does not include any solutions to serious workload matters.
  • Does not include improved contract language to reduce delays in the grievance procedure.

Information meetings schedule

All HEU members employed by Compass at VIHA and PHSA sites are strongly encouraged to attend these important bargaining information meetings.

Victoria and area (VIHA)
Monday, February 16, 2009
3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Pro Patria Legion (Auditorium)
411 Gorge Road East, Victoria

Nanaimo (VIHA)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
3 p.m.
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (Room G245)
1200 Dufferin Crescent, Nanaimo

Cowichan (VIHA)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
7 p.m.
Cowichan District Hospital (Lecture Hall – lower floor beside Cafeteria)
3045 Gibbons Road, Duncan

Vancouver (PHSA)
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
1:00 p.m.
Plaza 500 (Arbutus Room)
500 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

Thursday, February 19, 2009
7:30 p.m.
Plaza 500 (Arbutus Room)
500 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

For more information about Compass bargaining, contact HEU bargaining representative David Durning at 604-456-7020 or 1-800-663-5813 ext. 7020.