B.C. unions seek constructive dialogue in contract talks covering 47,000 health care workers | National Union of Public and General Employees

B.C. unions seek constructive dialogue in contract talks covering 47,000 health care workers

Health care members from over 270 job classifications are bargaining for a renewed collective agreement in B.C. 

Vancouver (15 Jan. 2014) – Negotiations for a new collective agreement covering 47,000 workers in B.C. hospitals, care homes, emergency health services and the health care supply chain begin today in Vancouver.

Multi-union bargaining sets out for productive round of discussions

The 11-union Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) is hoping for a constructive round of talks focused on improving working and caring conditions in a system under pressure.

Darryl Walker, President of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says that members in the facilities agreement are also looking for employment security and fair and reasonable improvements to wages.

“In this round of facilities bargaining, we’re looking for flexibility from health employers,” says Walker. “We need to work constructively to find solutions to the problems our health care members face at their worksites.”

Workers seek improvements to health and safety, workload and scheduling

The FBA unions are seeking improvements in the area of health and safety, including workload and scheduling of work.

In addition, the FBA is seeking long-overdue action on provisions covering BC Emergency Health Services employees which are appendices in the facilities agreement.

The current collective agreement expires March 31, 2014.

Bargaining covers a diverse employee base with workers in over 270 job classificiations from across the health care system

The Hospital Employees’ Union is the lead union in the FBA with other members represented by CUPE Local 873, BCGEU/NUPGE and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 882/882H.

A further seven unions represent the remainder of workers in the FBA and are collectively represented at the bargaining table by the Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers Local 5.

The diverse bargaining unit of more than 270 job classifications includes care aides, 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.

These negotiations represent the largest single group of workers covered by a single contract in B.C.’s public sector.

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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