Darcy to step down as HEU's chief negotiator to seek public office

VANCOUVER, Sept. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - Hospital Employees' Union secretary-business manager Judy Darcy is stepping down from her position as the union's chief negotiator and spokesperson, a job she's held since 2005.

She is making the move after her successful bid for the NDP nomination in New Westminster where she'll be a candidate for election in 2013.

As HEU's chief negotiator, Darcy led the union through two successful rounds of province-wide collective bargaining in 2006 and 2010.

Darcy also led settlement negotiations with the provincial government after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2007 that its contract-breaking legislation imposed five years earlier violated union members' charter-protected right to collective bargaining.

"It's been a real honour for me to work with and represent HEU members for the last six-and-a-half years," says Darcy.

"They are at the heart of health care and have shown unwavering commitment to their patients, residents and clients through the most difficult of times and in the most trying of circumstances."

HEU's president Ken Robinson says that Darcy's leadership was critical to rebuilding the union after a difficult strike and years of job losses due to privatization of health services.

"We have a strong, progressive and growing union today and that's in no small part due to Judy's considerable leadership skills," says Robinson.

"She's also built a strong leadership team that will take our union forward," adds Robinson.

Darcy's resignation is effective September 12 at which time the union will be announcing her successor to members.

Darcy first became a union activist as a Toronto library worker and eventually became the national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees - Canada's largest union. She held that position for 12 years.

Founded in 1944, HEU represents more than 43,000 workers in hospitals, long-term care facilities, assisted living, community services and First Nations health centres in both the public and private sector. HEU is an occupationally diverse union that includes both direct patient care and support roles.

SOURCE Hospital Employees' Union

For further information:

Mike Old, communications director, 604-828-6771 (cell)

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