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health care workers at two privately-operated care facilities in the Kootenays
have voted to join the Hospital Employees’ Union.
more than 90 care staff – employed by Advocare at Mountain Lake Seniors’
Community – joined HEU
as part of a
joint campaign with the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) that
also included some of the company’s operations in the Okanagan.
In a Labour
Relations Board (LRB)-supervised vote counted on Wednesday, workers rejected
the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) and voted to join an HEU/ BCGEU “poly-party” bargaining unit.
certification has been confirmed by the LRB, the HEU/BCGEU
bargaining unit will negotiate a first collective agreement covering workers at
MountainLake and the sites in the Okanagan.
MountainLake is owned by Park Place Seniors, which also
operates Pine Grove Care Centre in Kamloops,
where workers also rejected CLAC in favour of HEU
last year. HEU has since reached a
collective agreement for workers at that facility.
In Cranbrook, more than 160 staff at Golden Life’s JosephCreekVillage voted to join the
HEU in an LRB ballot also counted
this week. The workers provide both support services and direct care to seniors
in that community.
In August 2006,
the LRB found that Golden Life had intimidated and coerced workers to ratify a
CLAC collective agreement. As a result, HEU
was given access to workers through work site meetings.
represents workers and has negotiated a collective agreement at Golden Life’s RockyMountainVillage in Fernie, CrestViewVillage in Creston, and GardenViewVillage
secretary-business manager Judy Darcy
welcomed the union’s newest members from the Kootenays to B.C.’s largest health
workers have stood up for their democratic right to join a union of their own
choice, despite pressure from their employer,” says Darcy.
them for their courage – and for their vote of confidence in the HEU.”