Negotiations continue Wednesday for a renewed facilities contract

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Union negotiators will continue talks with health employers on Wednesday for a new collective agreement for workers in the facilities subsector of health care.

Discussions and the exchange of information that began before the holiday break continued over the past week in the key areas of job security, the safeguarding of extended health benefits, and improved compensation for groups like LPNs and unit clerks.

And Judy Darcy, spokesperson for the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA), says the two parties also held extensive discussions on issues like scheduling, reduction of injury rates, and on the continuation of high-level policy discussions around direct patient care.

“We continue to challenge health employers to work with us to find solutions that not only ensure a stable workforce, but also lead to improvements in health care delivery,” says Darcy, who is also the secretary-business manager for the Hospital Employees’ Union.

Facilities subsector bargaining covers more than 40,000 health care workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities across the province.

The current collective agreement expires on March 31, 2010. Negotiations commenced on December 17 and resumed on January 6 after a holiday break. Both sides met this weekend and will continue talks on Wednesday.

Health workers covered by the talks work in more than 270 classifications in a number of areas in health care including nursing, trades and maintenance, health records, logistics and supplies, dietary and housekeeping, IT, payroll, diagnostic testing, pharmacy, and others.

Updates on negotiations are also available by phoning HEU’s bargaining hotline at 604-438-5000, extension 1515 or 1516 in Metro Vancouver, or toll-free across B.C. at 1-800-663-5813, extension 1515 or 1516.

This bulletin is also available on FBA letterhead.