Sodexo, Aramark return to bargaining table, Compass negotiations continue

Recent actions and news stories keep pressure on employers and health authorities to ensure fair wages and safe working conditions
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Bargaining committees set to present revised monetary proposals

Just a few weeks after members returned strong strike votes, Aramark and Sodexo have returned to the bargaining table, with several days of talks scheduled in the next two weeks.

Meetings with Sodexo are set for April 23 and 24, with the possibility of additional dates in the following days. Meetings with Aramark are scheduled for April 28 and 29. The committee has asked for additional dates, and is waiting for confirmation from Aramark.

The Sodexo and Aramark bargaining committees will table revised monetary proposals, which will include wage and benefits improvements. The committees will also press to resolve outstanding occupational health and safety issues that had been put aside in previous meetings.

The Compass/PHSA bargaining committee has been able to resolve the majority of non-monetary and OH&S issues in the most recent round of meetings with the employer. Dates are set for April 27 and 28, and it’s possible that the committee will be able to put forward the union’s revised monetary proposal at that time. 

The Compass/VIHA bargaining committee is meeting on April 21, 22 and 23. Although the most recent set of negotiations have been at the Compass/PHSA table, the union expects that the Compass/VIHA committee will be able to reach a similar set of agreements.

Local events and news stories build public support

Recent events and rallies with members and supporters have increased public awareness about the issues at stake in these negotiations - such as workload, health and safety training, wages, and sick days.

Last week’s news stories about another round of WCB work orders at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital have also bolstered public support for improved working conditions for housekeeping staff in the region.

On April 9, more than 200 members and allies turned out for a rally at Vancouver General Hospital and marched to the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority offices.

At the rally, Health Sciences Association president Reid Johnson spoke of the importance of supporting the entire health care team, while B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair underscored the importance of the labour movement sticking together.

“When workers like you stand up to their employer in order to be treated fairly, we all win,” said Sinclair.

In the weeks leading up to the rally, members at many sites wrote messages on bright fabric panels as part of a “clothesline” project that stood out among the many banners and flags at the rally.

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy told the crowd that the goal of reaching a negotiated agreement is not only about improved working conditions and living wages.

“Our bargaining is about quality services as well,” she said. “Patients and residents… deserve clean, safe facilities and nutritious, healing food.”

More information about Big 3 bargaining is available through bargaining committee members and staff representatives.

HEU bargaining representatives David Durning (Compass negotiations), Noel Gulbransen (Aramark negotiations) and Susan Fisher (Sodexo negotiations) can be reached at 604-438-5000 or toll-free at 1-800-663-5813.