Scheduling, hours of work dominate community health talks

Bargaining bulletin
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THERE HAVE BEEN long days spent at the bargaining table since talks resumed February 14 as the multi-union community bargaining association and the Health Employers Association of BC deal with issues central to front-line working and caring conditions.

Scheduling and hours of work for home support workers have dominated discussions, and while employer negotiators have made some moves, progress is slow.

The challenge is changing the individual client funding model that currently makes it very difficult for home support workers to work enough paid hours to earn a decent living.

Many workers are literally on the job for 50 hours or more a week in order to piece together 20 to 30 hours of paid time.

Addressing the issue of hours of work is critical if health authorities want to expand home support services to provide more preventative, cost-effective care.

At week’s end, negotiations have turned to more global issues in the sector. The unions have signaled that they are available and bargaining may continue through the weekend.

On February 18, HEU’s community health bargaining committee will begin phoning the union’s community health locals to report on the status of negotiations, gather feedback and answer questions.

The Hospital Employees’ Union represents 1,500 members in the community health subsector. The sector includes 13, 000 front-line community health workers.