Bill 29 settlement agreement reached for Community Health Subsector workers

Multi-union Community Bargaining Association (CBA) reaches tentative settlement agreement after four months of Bill 29 negotiations

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The multi-union Community Bargaining Association (CBA), of which HEU is a partner, has reached a tentative settlement agreement after four months of negotiations with government and health employers to implement the Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Bill 29 last June.

The agreement includes compensation, retraining and expanded rights for community health workers affected by contracting out, and new rights and protections for the future.

“The Community Health Subsector settlement agreement includes compensation for our community health members who were negatively impacted by Bill 29,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

Darcy says that community health workers will also go to the bargaining table in 2010 free to negotiate on issues like contracting out.

“It was six years ago that the BC Liberals imposed Bill 29 on health workers, and undermined legally-negotiated collective agreements. In the future, when the Community Bargaining Association bargains, it won’t be with one arm tied behind our backs.”

The Community Health Subsector settlement agreement affects approximately 13,000 workers around the province, 1,500 of whom are HEU members.

Main elements of the CBA agreement include:

  • Doubled severance for community health workers impacted by contracting out, with one week of severance for every year of service compared to one week for two years previously
  • $4 million lump sum payment - $1.5 million for compensation to impacted workers, and
    $2.5 million for retraining and mitigation
  • An obligation for employers to engage in meaningful “good faith” consultations and
    proper notification of future contracting out, and opportunity to propose alternatives to contracting out and labour adjustment measures for affected workers
  • Expanded rights to bidding for health sector jobs across all six B.C. health authorities, and reimbursement of relocation expenses up to an agreed amount
  • Restoration of service and seniority rights for members whose jobs are returned to direct service.

February 2008 update: CBA Bill 29 Settlement Agreement