HEU tables monetary proposal during bargaining with H.A.R.P.S.

Contract covers 140 members at Cartier House and Hilton Villa
Bargaining bulletin

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The Hospital  Employees’ Union bargaining committee tabled its monetary package yesterday during talks with the Health and Personnel Services Inc. (H.A.R.P.S.), covering HEU members working at Cartier House in Coquitlam and Hilton Villa in Surrey.

Negotiations for a first collective agreement have so far finalized most non-monetary items, such as securing language on workload, the grievance process, seniority call-in rights and procedures for casual employees, and layoff/recall rights at last week’s bargaining table.

Given the current low rates of pay, the union gave a presentation on the importance of living wages, based on a research report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and First-Call (a child and youth coalition). The report, which is available on HEU’s website, establishes a living wage to be $16.74 per hour for the Metro-Vancouver area (in 2007), and it describes why a living wage is beneficial to workers, their families and employers, and how it links to quality care.

Following the presentation, the union tabled its full monetary package, highlighting the following:

  • a substantial wage increase;
  • paid sick leave;
  • increased paid vacation entitlement;
  • MSP coverage, and
  • Healthcare Plan improvements, including vision care and orthodontic coverage.

The employer is to respond when the parties meet again on February 18.

The union’s bargaining committee includes HEU negotiator Juli Rees, servicing representative Della McGaw; members Parmindra Palak (Cartier House), Luzviminda Wongsam and Elvirah Muchali (both from Hilton Villa). H.A.R.P.S. is represented by Paula Boddie and Lena Boyce.

There are 94 HEU H.A.R.P.S. members at Hilton Villa and 43 at Cartier House working as care aides, food service and laundry workers, and activity aides. They certified with HEU on October 10, 2008.