Talks between HEU members at Beacon Hill Villa and Compass resume

Bargaining bulletin

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Established record shows union, company successful in reaching agreement

HEU members at Beacon Hill Villa in Victoria employed by Compass were back at the negotiating table July 21 after a series of delays and a bad faith bargaining complaint.

Despite a request from the union last December to begin bargaining, Compass was unavailable to meet until May 27 and June 1. At that time, HEU went over its proposal — sent to the employer months before in a bid to get bargaining moving — and Compass tabled demands that include a starting wage rate of $9.50 an hour that would remain unchanged to 2008.

The Labour Relations Board mediated a resolution to the union’s bad faith bargaining complaint and that led to negotiations resuming July 21.

Last week, Compass refused to discuss workplace rights or working conditions until monetary issues concluded.

The employer also reminded union bargaining representatives that Retirement Concepts — the owner of Beacon Hill Villa and with whom Compass is contracted to provide support services — would not tolerate any increased costs or labour disruptions. If either occurred, Retirement Concepts has indicated that they would cancel the Compass contract.

HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt says that the union’s goal is to reach an agreement with Compass that satisfies both parties.

“Compass is an established company familiar with labour relations and with whom we have successfully concluded an agreement in the past,” says Allnutt.

“I see no reason why we can’t reach a settlement for our Beacon Hill Villa/Compass members through the collective bargaining process that will be satisfactory for all concerned.”

Compass and HEU are scheduled to meet again August 5 and 6.

Twenty-two Compass employees — working in housekeeping, laundry and food services — certified with the Hospital Employees’ Union on November 24, 2003 after voting 100 per cent in favour of joining the union.