Victoria Chinatown Care health workers win big

HEU members at Victoria Chinatown Care Centre are entitled immediately to the full wages, benefits and working conditions of the facilities sector collective agreement says arbitrator Nicholas Glass in his decision released today.

Approximately 23 staff at the seniors' long-term care facility will receive significant wage increases, much improved benefits, and employment security as a result of the ruling that is retroactive to June 11, 1999, the date the workers certified with HEU.

“This is a real victory for our Victoria Chinatown Care Centre sisters and brothers and for the union,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “This ruling is about more than wages and benefits; it’s about justice and respect.”

HEU claimed that all new certifications are automatically covered by the master agreement. The Health Employers Association of B.C. unsuccessfully argued that those new certifications were subject to the levelling process and, because there was no more money in the levelling fund, employees would have to accept inferior non-union wages and benefits until the next round of bargaining produced a new collective agreement.

“We call on HEABC to do the right thing and implement the decision immediately,” says Allnutt. “Any further delay on the part of employers will poison labour relations and cause all HEU members to strongly object to any continued unfairness.”