“Our LifeLabs members will now have an even stronger voice and greater leverage at the bargaining table." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Vancouver (29 June 2015) — The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is proud to welcome a group of more than 260 LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services workers (formerly BC Biomedical) to the union.
Over 1,000 LifeLabs workers have chosen BCGEU/NUPGE as their union
Following a lengthy and extensive organizing campaign, LifeLabs analytical resource technologists, couriers, call centre staff, lab assistants and technologists have voted overwhelmingly in favour of BCGEU/NUPGE representation to maintain the rights and protections found in the LifeLabs union contract.
This group will be integrated into the existing LifeLabs collective agreement, and will now have their collective voices heard to negotiate issues such as job security and wages with management in a cooperative, fair process.
Workers at the LifeLabs Cam Coady building (CCB) laboratory in Surrey will join the 820 members province-wide. The CCB vote included current BCGEU/NUPGE members who are being transferred from the unionized LifeLabs Burnaby lab to the previously non-union Surrey lab.
Majority of LifeLabs operations are unionized
BCGEU/NUPGE now represents more than 1,000 LifeLabs members across the province. The majority of LifeLabs operations in B.C. are now unionized.
“Our LifeLabs members will now have an even stronger voice and greater leverage at the bargaining table,” says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. “This victory demonstrates the continued growth of our health care membership, and will ultimately strengthen the voice of all of our 17,000 health care members.”
LifeLabs acquired BC BioMedical’s operations in April 2013. Following the merger, BC BioMedical workers expressed an interest in becoming part of the LifeLabs collective agreement. Originally certified in 1999, LifeLabs has had a long history with BCGEU/NUPGE.
The BCGEU/NUPGE members at LifeLabs provide diagnostic lab services through community-based patient service centers, home care and long-term care visits, and laboratory testing facilities, and perform more than 90 per cent of the lab work done on B.C. patients who are not admitted to hospitals.
This latest LifeLabs organizing success once again indicates that BCGEU is the union of choice for laboratory workers in B.C., representing nearly 1,400 lab workers in total at worksites including Silliker JR Laboratories, Maxxam Analytics and IDEXX Laboratories.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 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