Concerned about layoff due to contracting out?

Information for members covered by the Facilities collective agreement

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Under the Bill 29 Settlement Agreement, HEU negotiated a number of re-training and labour adjustment measures to assist workers facing layoff as a result of contracting out.
These include:

  • financial assistance including living stipends for re-training;
  • access to work on a casual list while re-training;
  • ability to port service and seniority after re-training;
  • access to job vacancies across the province;
  • extended recall period, and
  • financial assistance with moving costs.

These provisions apply to workers covered by the facilities subsector collective agreement, and are in addition to rights contained in the 2006-2010 contract (like enhanced severance and $1,000 payment for education or re-training costs).

In the event of layoff due to contracting out, health employers must inform employees of these options. You can also speak with an HEU representative about your options. Please note that these provisions only apply if you have received a lay-off notice.


There is $5 million available to cover re-training costs for up to 700 full-time equivalent employees - the maximum number of workers that can be laid off due to contracting out under the 2006 cap.

Costs covered by the re-training fund include course costs and a living stipend, if appropriate.

The re-training fund can be accessed for re-training in identified areas of need in the health sector.

The Bill 29 Re-training Fund can be reached at 1-800-663-5813 (toll-free) or at 604-438-5000 (Metro Vancouver).

During the re-training period, workers will be placed on a casual list with their current employer to maintain active status and seniority. They can access work for which they’re qualified during re-training. If there is no work for which they are qualified, they will be deemed unavailable until the re-training is complete.

Workers who take advantage of re-training must commit to staying in health care for at least three times as long as the length of their training period or they will have to pay back a pro-rated portion of their course costs and living expenses (i.e. if the course length was one month, the employee would be required to work at least three months).

If no ongoing vacancy is available when they’ve completed their training, they will be registered on the casual list in any health authority. Re-trained workers can port their service and seniority if they successfully post into a job within six months.

Expanded posting opportunities

Under the Bill 29 Settlement Agreement, the union negotiated provisions which allow members who are laid off due to contracting out and have no bumping options to exercise, to apply for vacancies anywhere in the province.

Laid-off workers who post into a regular job vacancy in another health authority can qualify for benefits the month after they start in their new position. They’re also eligible for up to $800 in moving expenses.

They can also register on the casual list in another health authority under the terms of the Casual Addendum in the collective agreement and apply for ongoing vacancies. Workers using this provision can access benefits without accumulating the usual requirement of 180 hours of work.

Casual employees under this provision can access benefits without the usual requirement to have worked 180 hours. They can convert their accumulated seniority and benefits under the formula outlined in the Casual Addendum.

In addition, laid-off workers will have their recall period extended from one year to two years, if they haven’t ported seniority to another health authority.

Early retirement and voluntary departure

Health employers at their discretion may provide early retirement, voluntary departure incentives or other labour adjustment provisions suggested by the union where these measures would create vacancies that would be filled by other employees affected by layoff.

Have questions?

At this time, please contact your HEU servicing representative if you have any questions or require more information.