LRB mediator recommends course of action for Compass VIHA bargaining

Bargaining bulletin

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With the assistance of Labour Relations Board mediator Grant McArthur, efforts to reach a first collective agreement for HEU members employed by Compass on Vancouver Island took another step forward on November 21.

After mediating a session between the union and the employer on November 17, McArthur recommended a two-pronged approach to concluding a collective agreement, which has been accepted by the union.

First, he recommends that the main outstanding non-monetary issue – a single seniority list for all VIHA members – along with other administrative issues, should be decided by the arbitration process currently underway for Compass members in the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).

The arbitrator for Compass PHSA bargaining, Don Munroe, will be handing down his decision before the end of December.

Second, McArthur recommends that all remaining issues in Compass VIHA bargaining – including wages, retroactivity, sick leave, and the term of the collective agreement – should go to binding arbitration.

“Given how Compass has shirked its bargaining responsibilities over the past many months we believe the mediator’s approach to concluding a collective agreement with this employer is a sensible one,” says HEU bargaining spokesperson Heather Compton.

The union applied for Labour Board assistance under Section 55 of the BC Labour Code following a 96 per cent strike vote by Compass VIHA members in mid-October. Section 55 provides help to reach first contracts through a process of mediation and arbitration