Under pressure to respond to comprehensive union package, employer picks up pace at bargaining table


After three months of negotiations during which the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) tabled more than 100 bargaining demands, the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) has finally provided initial responses to the majority of the FBA’s bargaining package.

This week, talks continued to focus on retention and recruitment, scheduling and rotations, workload, shop steward support, health and safety, and the Enhanced Disability Management Program. 

A FBA-HEABC working group has also had a number of positive discussions to address Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in health care.

“Our bargaining committee continues to be laser-focused on the top issues for members,” says HEU secretary-business manager Meena Brisard, the FBA’s lead negotiator and spokesperson.

“And now that health employers have responded to most of our proposals, we are in a position to engage in more productive bargaining on important priorities identified by members.

“Of course, we’ll also be returning to the critical issue of compensation for our members in the face of rising costs we haven’t seen for more than 30 years. The employer’s initial proposals on wages failed to address this reality.”

Brisard says that public sector unions at a number of different bargaining tables continue to work in solidarity to share information and push employers for a fair compensation package.

The parties resume bargaining on May 24, and have scheduled dates through June. 

HEU has scheduled a telephone town hall with local executives in the facilities subsector next week to provide a briefing on the status of negotiations.

The nine-union FBA represents 58,000 health care workers, the vast majority represented by HEU. It is the largest single table in B.C.’s public sector.