Heavy turnout for Facilities strike votes
HEU members are turning out in record numbers to participate in province-wide strike votes that began Monday and continue for the next two weeks.
Since last February, the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA), led by HEU which has the majority of members in the Facilities subsector, has been in negotiations with health employers seeking a fair and reasonable collective agreement for 46,000 union members.
But the Health Employers Association of B.C and government have been demanding that health care workers take on hundreds of dollars of costs for their benefits as a precondition for a modest wage increase.
In Prince George Monday, strike vote turnout was so heavy that members were lined up around the block from HEU’s regional office to participate in the balloting.
HEU’s secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson is confident members will continue to show up for scheduled strike votes in large numbers to deliver a strong strike mandate.
“This membership has sacrificed a lot over the last decade. They are determined to send employers a strong and clear message at the bargaining table that enough is enough,” says Pearson.
Can LPNs vote?
There has been some confusion among LPNs about their participation in the ongoing FBA strike vote, and LPNs have been asking HEU local executive members about their voting rights.
The decision to seek a strike mandate through this vote was approved by a unanimous vote of all unions represented on the FBA bargaining committee, including BCNU.
LPNs who are now members of BCNU as a result of the recent raid are still covered by the Facilities agreement but must cast their strike ballots through BCNU.
They must contact BCNU to exercise their right to participate in this strike vote.
Most LPNs who work in so-called affiliate employers (except Providence Health Care) are members of HEU. They can participate in this strike vote along with all other HEU members in the workplace.