Facilities health care agreement reached in B.C.

“Despite a difficult round of bargaining, we have been able to negotiate a collective agreement that brings job security for health care workers,” said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU Treasurer.

Vancouver (03 Jan. 2012) — British Columbia health care workers in the facilities subsector voted 91 per cent in favour of a two-year contract that provides job security protections, a general wage increase, and maintains benefits.

Highlights include an across-the-board wage increases totalling three per cent, the continuation of health plan benefits and a moratorium on layoffs due to contracting out for the life of the contract.

The agreement was reached on November 23 after nine months of challenging negotiations with the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC). Ratification votes were held across the province over a three week period.

“Despite a difficult round of bargaining, we have been able to negotiate a collective agreement that brings job security for health care workers,” said Stephanie Smith, B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) Treasurer. “We’re satisfied that we were able to reach a fair and reasonable contract that meets the needs of all members covered by the facilities subsector.”

The collective agreement, set to expire March 31, 2014, covers more than 46,000 health care workers in publicly funded hospitals, long-term care facilities, emergency health services, health authority corporate offices and warehouses, and in other health settings across B.C.

Facilities subsector members work in such areas as nursing, pharmacy, sterile processing, diagnostic testing, logistics and supplies, cleaning and dietary, patient records, trades and maintenance, accounting, information systems and others.

Eleven unions are represented by the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association, including BCGEU/NUPGE, the Hospital Employees' Union (HEU), the B.C. Nurses’ Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 873, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 882/882H and six other unions.

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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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