Four unions have reached a settlement with the BC government that provides compensation for community social services workers who lost job security provisions under the Liberal government's 2002 contract-breaking legislation known as Bill 29.
The settlement amounts to $425,000 divided among four unions. These are the BC Government and Service Employees' Union which represents approximately 70 percent of workers in this sector, along with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Hospital Employees' Union, and Health Sciences Association of BC.
BCGEU president Darryl Walker comments, "We've reached an agreement to resolve the court application arising out of claims. For the BCGEU, this compensation will assist our members who had filed grievances in the wake of Bill 29."
In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Charter right to freedom of association had been infringed because key provisions of unions' collective agreements were torn up under Bill 29. Following that ruling, the BC government in 2008 paid a settlement of $85-million to the unions whose health worker members had been impacted by Bill 29.
At issue under this latest settlement was the BC government's removal of job security provisions from negotiated collective agreements that specifically affected community social services workers. The payment is for employees impacted by Bill 29 (Part 3) and for professional development education for community social services workers.