Let’s keep looking for alternatives to contracting out

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HEU says solutions can be found at the bargaining table

THE HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES’ UNION is calling on the Vancouver Island Health Authority to respond to the union’s two-week old proposal requesting plans to contract out the jobs of more than 1200 housekeeping and dietary workers be put on hold while province-wide bargaining is underway.

Responding to media reports that talks between the union and VIHA have collapsed, HEU secretary business-manager Chris Allnutt says, “We think it’s extremely misleading for VIHA to suggest they have exhausted all options when we are still engaged in province-wide contract discussions and will be meeting again with VIHA and other healthcare employers next week.”

“The responsible course of action at this point would be for VIHA to put their privatization plans on hold and give the collective bargaining process a chance to find alternative solutions to contracting out,” says Allnutt.

VIHA rejected a $21 million concessions package from health care workers just before Christmas and has yet to respond to their request that privatizations plans be suspended, pending the outcome of province-wide contract talks.