Throne Speech: Clarity needed on public sector bargaining direction

News release

The Hospital Employees’ Union says that the government is sending mixed messages on its direction for public sector bargaining next year.

HEU’s secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson says that she’s glad to hear government state in today’s Throne Speech that public servants “need to be treated fairly.”

“Public sector workers – and HEU members in particular – have shouldered the burden of government budget restraint in the past,” says Pearson.

“Obviously, we’ll need to wait for more clarity on government’s direction for bargaining,” adds Pearson.

“But if government is simply stating that improvements for members will only be funded if we mine our agreements for savings, then they are de facto announcing another net zero mandate.

“Fair settlements for our members in 2012 must include real improvements to their collective agreements.”

HEU includes members in several public sector bargaining associations and is the lead union in the Facilities Bargaining Association representing 46,000 health care workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

It’s the second largest bargaining group in the public sector after B.C. teachers.