Hospital, long-term care and emergency health services workers vote 96 per cent in favour of strike action

“It’s clear that government and public sector employers can settle agreements in some sectors within government’s overall negotiating mandate,” says Walker. “I’ll be urging health employers to return to the table with a more flexible approach to our talks.”

Vancouver (06 Nov. 2012) - Health care workers have delivered a strong strike mandate to back their representatives in collective bargaining with B.C.'s health employers.

Members of the 11-union Facilities Bargaining Association voted 96 per cent in favour of strike action during two weeks of balloting which wrapped up on November 2.

“The vote sends a strong message to health employers and government. Health care workers have overwhelmingly rejected employer demands that they take on more costs as a pre-condition for even a minimal wage increase,” says Darryl Walker, B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) President.

“It’s clear that government and public sector employers can settle agreements in some sectors within government’s overall negotiating mandate,” says Walker. “I’ll be urging health employers to return to the table with a more flexible approach to our talks.”

Negotiations began with the Health Employers Association of B.C. in February, 2012 and the current contract expired on March 31, 2012.

About 46,000 workers in more than 270 job classifications are impacted by the talks, making it the largest single set of negotiations in the current round of public sector collective bargaining.

The diverse bargaining unit includes care aides, LPNs, ambulance paramedics, health records staff, laboratory and other diagnostic specialists, sterile supply technicians, emergency dispatch personnel, trades and maintenance workers, activity aides and rehab assistants, IT specialists, pharmacy technicians, admitting and booking clerks, administrative staff, cleaning and dietary staff, and many others.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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