Facilities Bargaining Association

March 19, 2010 12:54 ET

Health care workers ratify two-year agreement

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor BURNABY, BC, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - March 19, 2010) - Hospital and long-term care workers have voted 77 per cent in favour of a new two-year collective agreement with B.C.'s health employers.

The agreement protects wages and extended health benefits. It also expands options for workers affected by restructuring and privatization through expanded seniority rights, improved severance provisions and additional retraining funds

In addition, the agreement provides special wage adjustments for targeted job categories where educational requirements and responsibilities have increased, and where there are recruitment and retention issues.

The agreement covers 48,000 workers and was reached between the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association and the Health Employers Association of B.C. on February 6. Ratification votes were held across the province over the past three weeks.

FBA spokesperson Judy Darcy says the agreement will provide members with concrete measures to ensure greater certainty and stability in a health care system that continues to be buffeted by cuts and restructuring.

"Patients and long-term care residents will also benefit because the provisions we've negotiated will help retain workers affected by contracting out and restructuring," adds Darcy, who is also secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees' Union.

"Despite government's restrictive bargaining framework, we made progress on our members' key bargaining priorities," says Darcy. "And we did so while protecting wages and ensuring that extended health plan benefits remain intact and sustainable for members and their families."

The agreement covers about 270 different jobs in every area of health care including nursing, health records, information technology, logistics and supply, diagnostic testing, pharmacy, trades and maintenance, dietary, housekeeping, payroll and more.

There are eleven member unions in the Facilities Bargaining Association including the Hospital Employees' Union which represents more than 90 per cent of the workers covered by the agreement.

The BC Government and Service Employees' Union and the International Union of Operating Engineers also represent a significant number of workers in the sector.

The new agreement expires March 31, 2012. /For further information: www.heu.org/ IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, HEALTH, LABOUR, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Mike Old, Communications Director, Hospital Employees' Union
    Primary Phone: 604-828-6771
    Secondary Phone: 604-438-5000
    Toll-Free: 800-663-5813
    E-mail: oldm@heu.org