Health employers refuse to move on key issues

Bargaining bulletin
Bargaining Bulletins

With just weeks remaining before the current contract covering 47,000 health care workers is set to expire, B.C.’s health employers have failed to constructively or meaningfully address key bargaining issues. 

The multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association is pressing health employers to address workload, safer working conditions, and job security provisions that would provide stability in care delivery, reduce injuries, and provide economic security for members. 

In addition, the FBA wants the restoration of vacation days that were frozen in the 2010 round of bargaining.

But FBA spokesperson Bonnie Pearson says that the Health Employers Association of BC has so far rejected the unions’ proposals. 

“Health employers have failed to address the union’s demands,” says Pearson, who is also secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees’ Union. 

“They have refused to consider our job security proposals or any other substantive changes. Employers also have their own proposals, not least is one that may affect member benefits.”

Pearson says another major stumbling block has been health employers’ and government’s inability or unwillingness to move forward with expanding the role of paramedics in the health sector. 

“We’ll continue to bargain with the objective of reaching a negotiated settlement and urge health employers and government to do the same.” 

The eleven-union FBA represents a wide range of workers including care aides, ambulance paramedics, health records staff, lab and other diagnostic specialists, sterile supply technicians, emergency dispatch personnel, trades and maintenance workers, activity aides and rehab assistants, IT specialists, pharmacy technicians, admitting and booking clerks, administrative staff, cleaning and dietary staff, and many others.