PHSA bargaining committee rejects Compass’ monetary package

Bargaining bulletin

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Low wage rates tabled could be a signal to VIHA members

Compass’ long-awaited monetary package proved to be a severe disappointment when the corporation finally tabled it on August 14 – the first of three dates scheduled for mediated talks covering HEU members at the B.C. Cancer Agency, Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Sunnyhill Hospital for Children in the Provincial Health Services Authority.

HEU’s Compass/PHSA bargaining committee rejected the below-industry-standard package as it would see the majority of members’ wages inch up from $10.25 an hour to $11.21 an hour over the life of a three-year contract.

“Compass’ wage package is not only well below the industry standard, it’s considerably less than competitors Sodexho and Aramark pay their employees – about 2,500 HEU members who work in Lower Mainland health facilities,” says HEU bargaining spokesperson Heather Compton.

“Some progress was made on non-monetary issues on August 15 and 16, but not as much as our PHSA bargaining committee would have liked. It’s slow going with Compass,” Compton says.

Mediator Grant McArthur is assisting HEU and Compass in talks for first collective agreements covering workers in both the PHSA and the Vancouver Island Health Authority. HEU members who make up the VIHA bargaining committee attended the PHSA negotiations when Compass tabled its monetary package.

Compton says that the union wanted the VIHA bargaining committee present as Compass’ monetary position would likely be the same when talks resume for the company’s workers in that health authority on August 31.

VIHA negotiations are set for two days – August 31 and September 1 – in the offices of the Labour Relations Board in Vancouver. The union expects Compass to put forward a monetary package at that time.

“VIHA members should watch for notices of bargaining report-out meetings scheduled immediately after the Labour Day long weekend, September 5-8,” says Compton. “They could check the union’s hotline for an update, too, by calling 1 800 663 5813, extension 1515.”

Approximately 950 HEU members – 700 in VIHA and 250 in PHSA – are employed by Compass and provide housekeeping and food services throughout the health authorities’ facilities.