Focus on job security when facilities bargaining resumes Tuesday

Bargaining bulletin

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Collective bargaining for a new contract covering more than 40,000 hospital and long-term care workers will resume on Tuesday with a focus on job security.

The multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association has made progress on a number of priority issues in its talks with health employers that began last month.

FBA spokesperson Judy Darcy – the secretary-business manager for the Hospital Employees’ Union – says the two sides have now agreed to form a working group that will hold detailed discussions on job security issues for several days next week.

“Our goal is to ensure that a renewed collective agreement protects decent jobs in the face of a massive reorganization of health services and the continuing threat of contracting out,” says Darcy.

“This will also stabilize health care delivery and protect the public’s investment in a skilled and experienced health care team.”

Darcy says that the parties have already held extensive and productive discussions on ways to minimize disruption and maximize employee options in workplaces affected by both the consolidation of services, and the transfer of work to the new Health Authority Shared Services Organization.

Other key bargaining objectives are also being addressed at the bargaining table, including safeguarding extended health benefits and improving compensation for targeted groups.

“These talks have been extremely challenging as health employers have been given a very restrictive negotiating mandate from government,” says Darcy.

“Despite this, and as a result of the hard work of our bargaining committee, we have made progress on several priorities identified by our members.”

Talks are scheduled to take place starting Tuesday and continuing all week on crucial job security issues.

The current collective agreement expires on March 31, 2010.

Updates on negotiations are also available by phoning HEU’s bargaining hotline at 604-438-5000, ext. 1515 or 1516 in Metro Vancouver, or toll-free across B.C. at 1-800-663-5813, ext. 1515 or 1516.

This bulletin is also available on FBA letterhead.