HEU reaches tentative agreement with Compass in VIHA and PHSA

Proposed deal includes wage and benefits improvements, stronger tools for health and safety, workload, grievances, scheduling issues
Bargaining bulletin

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After seven months of negotiations, bargaining committee members reached a tentative agreement at the Compass VIHA table on Thursday evening, and the Compass PHSA table on Friday afternoon.

The committee made gains on the three priority issues identified at the bargaining conference held in March 2008 - wages, benefits and sick leave. The proposed contract would see wage rates of $13.05 an hour increase by 13 per cent, to $14.75 an hour, by the last year of the agreement. A list of wage increases for all classifications is included in the bottom of this bulletin.

The employer will pay 100% of extended health premiums one month after ratification. For a member enrolled in family benefits, that means an additional $.27 per hour, equivalent to a 2% wage increase.

The committee also got agreement on improvements to non-monetary issues such as a new central HEU-Compass Health and Safety Steering Committee, as well as improvements around workload, extended hours scheduling, treatment of casuals, and return-to-work programs.

“The Compass committees bargained tirelessly for better benefits, rights and protections for our members,” said HEU secretary-business manager, Judy Darcy, “and they made significant progress toward a living wage, despite the challenges of an economic recession and growing unemployment.”

“These gains could not have been achieved without the hard work of living wage activists, other bargaining committees and the strong strike mandate from so many members,” added Darcy.

Although bargaining broke off late last year, after Compass presented a “final offer” to the Union, the employer recently agreed to return to the table.

The settlements were reached after a very intense round of bargaining meetings alternating between the PHSA table in Burnaby and the VIHA table in Victoria. The committees attribute this success to the strong support shown by the members with their strike mandate, and other bargaining support activities.

The proposed agreement is effective from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2012.

Improvements to wages, benefits, sick days

The following increases cover HEU members employed by Compass in PHSA and VIHA.*
On ratification $.30 per hour
October 1, 2009 $.40 per hour
October 1, 2010 $.45 per hour
October 1, 2011 $.50 per hour
September 1, 2012 $.05 per hour

Compass in PHSA

  • Laundry/Housekeeping Aide: Upon Ratification $13.35, October 1, 2009 $13.75, October 1, 2010, $14.20, October 1, 2011 $14.70, September 1, 2012 $14.75
  • Laundry/HK Lead Hand+: Upon Ratification $14.55, October 1, 2009 $14.95, October 1, 2010, $15.40, October 1, 2011 $15.90, September 1, 2012 $15.95
  • Food General Help (Patient/Retail): Upon Ratification $13.35, October 1, 2009 $13.75, October 1, 2010, $14.20, October 1, 2011 $14.70, September 1, 2012 $14.75
  • Food Lead Hand (Patient/Retail)+: Upon Ratification $14.55, October 1, 2009 $14.95, October 1, 2010, $15.40, October 1, 2011 $15.90, September 1, 2012 $15.95
  • Cook 1 (Patient): Upon Ratification $18.22, October 1, 2009 $18.62, October 1, 2010, $19.07, October 1, 2011 $19.57, September 1, 2012 $19.62
  • Cook 2 (Retail): Upon Ratification $16.41, October 1, 2009 $16.81, October 1, 2010, $17.26, October 1, 2011 $17.76, September 1, 2012 $17.81
  • Catering Associate: Upon Ratification $13.95, October 1, 2009 $14.35, October 1, 2010, $14.80, October 1, 2011 $15.30, September 1, 2012 $15.35

Compass in VIHA

  • Laundry/Housekeeping Aide: Upon Ratification $13.35, October 1, 2009 $13.75, October 1, 2010, $14.20, October 1, 2011 $14.70, September 1, 2012 $14.75
  • Laundry/HK Lead Hand+: Upon Ratification $14.55, October 1, 2009 $14.95, October 1, 2010, $15.40, October 1, 2011 $15.90, September 1, 2012 $15.95
  • Food General Help (Patient/Retail): Upon Ratification $13.35, October 1, 2009 $13.75, October 1, 2010, $14.20, October 1, 2011 $14.70, September 1, 2012 $14.75
  • Food Lead Hand (Patient/Retail)+: Upon Ratification $14.55, October 1, 2009 $14.95, October 1, 2010, $15.40, October 1, 2011 $15.90, September 1, 2012 $15.95
  • Cook 1 (Patient): Upon Ratification $18.22, October 1, 2009 $18.62, October 1, 2010, $19.07, October 1, 2011 $19.57, September 1, 2012 $19.62
  • Cook 2 (Retail): Upon Ratification $16.41, October 1, 2009 $16.81, October 1, 2010, $17.26, October 1, 2011 $17.76, September 1, 2012 $17.81
  • Catering Associate*: Upon Ratification $13.95, October 1, 2009 $14.25, October 1, 2010, $14.40, October 1, 2011 $14.70, September 1, 2012 $14.75

+ Hours worked as a Lead Hand will be paid at the Lead Hand wage.

* Grandfathered classification (employees in this classification were red-circled) - no new employees hired in this classification.

Other monetary gains:

  • the employer will pay 100% of extended health premiums one month after ratification. For a member enrolled in family benefits, that means an additional $.27 per hour, equivalent to a 2% wage increase;
  • sick leave is increased by one day on January 15, 2010 and by an additional day on January 15, 2011 for a total of eight sick days per year;
  • benefits continue for employees working past the age of 65 to age 70 with the exception of life insurance and AD&D premiums which may be maintained by the employee;
  • four HEU grievances related to the denial of benefits after age 65, which were scheduled for arbitration in June, have been resolved;
  • night shift premium is increased from $.50 per hour to $.75 per hour effective on the date of ratification, and
  • afternoon shift premium is increased from $ .20 per hour to $ .30 per hour on September 1, 2012.

Improvements for casuals

  • casual employees with one year of service working 20 or more hours per week for 13 weeks will receive 100% employer-paid benefits, and
  • a trial project to provide regular "float” positions to casuals will create regular schedules and consistent hours of work.

Non-monetary gains on health and safety, workload, scheduling issues

  • a joint HEU-Compass Central Health and Safety Steering Committee will be created to support the work of local health and safety committees in all HEU Compass workplaces in B.C.;
  • improved workload language provides a process for dealing with increased workload due to staff shortages;
  • new language allows greater input from workers into extended hours schedules and training;
  • a new grievance/arbitration procedure provides a more effective process for dealing with disputes;
  • the probationary period is reduced from 520 hours to 450 hours;
  • the employer will provide updated seniority lists to the union four times a year instead of twice a year, and
  • workers will have the right to union representation while participating in return to work programs following an illness or injury.

HEU members working for Compass will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed agreements in meetings that will be scheduled in mid-May. Further details of the proposed agreements will be available in a comprehensive report, distributed over the coming days.

Negotiations with Aramark are continuing as this bulletin is being issued.

For more information about bargaining with Compass, contact your bargaining committee members or David Durning at 604-456-7020, toll-free 1-800-663-5813.