62 per cent of HEU members support amalgamated bargaining unit in VCHA

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HEU members working in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority have voted in favour of a memorandum of agreement that protects their rights in a new amalgamated bargaining unit.

Under the HEU constitution and by-laws, the vote requires 50 per cent of the members and two-thirds of the affected HEU locals to vote in favour of the proposal. Thirteen out of 17 locals and 62 per cent of members voted yes.

The MOA affects all unionized workers covered by the Facilities Subsector Collective Agreement and are directly employed by VCHA. The MOA does not apply to employees of affiliates.

A majority of BCGEU members at George Pearson and IUOE members at several facilities also cast ballots in favour of the proposal.

Under the MOA, seniority lists at all these sites will be merged into one seniority list after ratification.

After that date, vacancies will be posted to all sites at once, and members can use their amalgamated seniority to apply for positions at any of the sites. "This agreement protects hard-won seniority rights while expanding members' employment options," says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

Under the agreement, regular and casual employees can combine their accrued seniority from all sites up to the equivalent of full time.

And both parties have agreed to transition period of up to two years during which the strict application of contract provisions relating to scheduling and hours of work (articles 19.01 and 20.02) will be delayed.

By the end of that period, regular employees holding more than one position where their total combined hours are more than one full-time equivalent position must resign from one or more positions so that their hours do not exceed one full-time position.

While the agreement provides for a dovetailed seniority list in an amalgamated bargaining unit, it does not affect local union structures or the shop steward system.

Download memorandum of agreement in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.