Government will introduce legislation to remove unconstitutional sections of Bill 29

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In a meeting yesterday with B.C.’s four health care bargaining associations, the provincial government committed to introduce amendments that will remove the sections of Bill 29, which had restricted health care workers’ bargaining rights.

Government representatives told members of the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA), Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association, Community Bargaining Association and Nurses’ Bargaining Association that they would introduce the amendments related to sections 6(2), 6(4) and 9 of Bill 29 in the upcoming legislative session, set to begin on February 12.

The commitment is part of recent agreements reached between individual bargaining associations, the B.C. government and HEABC, after 14 weeks of negotiations and as a result of last June’s Supreme Court ruling.

HEU’s secretary-business manager Judy Darcy – who led the talks for the FBA – said the move is critically important to the collective bargaining process.

“Our members can begin negotiations in 2010 without legislative restrictions tying our hands and with our full bargaining rights restored,” says Darcy. “That’s good news for health care workers, and it’s good news for the public delivery of health care.”