HEU serves Sodexho with notice to bargain for members at new Fraser Health sites

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Important news for Sodexho workers at Surrey Memorial, Royal Columbian, Burnaby, and Chilliwack hospitals; Fellburn, Queen’s Park and Heritage Village care facilities

ON MONDAY, the Hospital Employees’ Union served notice to bargain a first collective agreement on the French corporation Sodexho for about 360 of the union’s newest members at four hospitals and three care facilities in the Fraser Health Authority.

They join Sodexho cleaning staff at Mission Memorial, MSA and Eagle Ridge hospitals along with food service workers at 24 Vancouver Coastal facilities and support workers at several care facilities. HEU now represents 1450 Sodexho employees in health care.

Notice to bargain was served by the union after the Labour Relations Board certified the results of an 86 per cent vote in favour of union membership that was counted June 20.

Sodexho and the IWA Local 1-3567 had tried to stop the ballot count for more than a year with a series of legal maneuvers but their objections were finally dismissed by the LRB last month and HEU votes were counted.

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says after a long wait, new union members are eager to make progress on issues including crushing workloads and poor wages and benefits.

“Sodexho has been working overtime for the past year to keep the union out of the workplace,” says Darcy. “They should have been more concerned with the appalling working conditions facing our members — conditions that are affecting the quality of the service. That’s what we’re going to be working on together as a union.”

HEU is currently bargaining with Sodexho for a contract covering support workers in Vancouver Coastal, several care facilities and three hospitals in Fraser Health. Those talks will have a strong impact on first contract bargaining for new Sodexho members.

On-going talks with Sodexho will be one of the topics on the agenda when HEU’s new members attend union meetings to be held around the region in the next two weeks. Worksite representatives will also be elected.

Watch for notices of these meetings. And if you have any questions, please call your HEU servicing representative Todd McAdam at 604-438-5000 or toll free at 1-800-663-5813.