Compass/IWA deal rolls back pay benefits and conditions in health care

The last time an HEU housekeeper was paid $9.50 an hour was before April 1, 1984. But that’s the level that wage rates have been cut to in a shocking new labour contract entered into by the Compass Group for a small privatized housekeeping contract for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority at Vancouver Hospital.

But in terms of real purchasing power, how far back do you have to go to find the last time HEU members' wages were as low as $9.50 an hour? You'd have to go back some 35 years to find the last time an HEU member earned the equivalent of what Compass is paying its workers today. That was in 1968 when "maids" at Vancouver General Hospital were paid $1.76 an hour.

“How bad is it?” Find out by downloading a copy of the Compass deal by clicking here

And in addition to wage rates that are about half the current standard for HEU members in hospitals and long-term care facilities, benefits have been slashed. Other protections like scheduling, guaranteed hours of work and postings have been eliminated. There’s no pension plan in the deal struck by Compass and IWA Local 3567, while other basics like sick leave have been deeply cut.

HEU has prepared the following comparison that summarizes a deal that will hurt thousands of women health care workers, and will have repercussions for hundreds of thousands of other B.C. workers — including IWA members in the forest industry.


HEU MASTER Wage rates

Housekeeping $18.32

Dietary $17.90

Laundry $19.10

Cook 1 $20.71

Cook 2 $21.09

Compass/IWA Wage rates

Housekeeping $9.50

Dietary $9.50

Laundry $9.50

Cook 1 $11.00

Cook 2 $13.75

Pension plan

Pension plan  for all full and part-time regular employees. Employees and employer contribute to plan.

No Pension


Employees must have 14 days' minimum advance notice for scheduling or overtime pay is required. Based on seniority.

No guarantee of hours to be worked, no requirement to provide a schedule or notice (Article 7).

Annual vacation

1 to 5 year' service = 20 days' vacation add 1 day per year after 5 years for each year of additional service.

Employment Standards — 2 weeks after one year — 3 weeks after 5 years. (Article 8).


Hours and schedule must be posted for all employees. Jobs awarded based on seniority and qualifications.

Employer has sole discretion to post or not post jobs and sole discretion to award jobs and hours (Article 10).

Race to the bottom

No race to the bottom provision.

Should the IWA bargain a lesser rate or benefit with another employer, lower rate or benefit automatically applies to workers under this agreement (Article 15.6).


All regular, part time and full time employees are eligible for benefits. No minimum hours required.

Medical, dental, long-term disability, injury on duty pay, vision care, Pharmacare, AD&D, premiums employer-paid.

Employees must be continuously scheduled to work 20 or more hours per week to be eligible for benefits. Even when a worker is eligible, beyond basic medical employees pay significant share of the few benefits that are offered.

No LTD, no injury on duty (Appendix B).

Sick leave

All regular part-time and full-time employees accrue sick leave benefits. Cumulative to 156 work days based on actual hours worked.

Must be eligible and 2 days in first six months. Two days in second six months, not cumulative (Appendix B).

To download a copy of the Compass/IWA deal, click here