BURNABY, BC, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Unions representing 43,000 B.C. health
care workers will sit down with employers and government to begin
negotiations for a new collective agreement on Tuesday.
The Hospital Employees' Union will lead the 12-union Facilities
Bargaining Association (FBA) in talks aimed at improving working and
caring conditions for a diverse range of workers.
HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson is challenging health
employers and government to live up to their commitment to be "fair"
and "creative" in the talks.
"We are seeking a fair and reasonable settlement that protects and
improves health care delivery," says Pearson, who is the chief
negotiator and spokesperson for the FBA.
Pearson says that health workers are seeking improvements to their
contract so that they do not fall further behind after a decade that
saw the erosion of wages and attacks on their job security.
The unions are also looking to improve health and safety measures in
workplaces that are the most dangerous in the province in terms of
injury rates and acts of violence.
The FBA represents the largest single group of B.C. public sector
workers heading to the table in the current round of negotiations for
contracts expiring March 31, 2012. The talks cover health care workers
in hospitals, residential care facilities and in consolidated health
services shared across multiple health employers, as well as the B.C.
The diverse bargaining unit of more than 270 job classifications
includes care aides, LPNs, 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.
The HEU represents about 85 per cent of the members covered by the
talks. Another 14 per cent are represented by the Canadian Union of
Public Employees Local 873, the B.C. Government and Service Employees'
Union and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 882/882H.
Other FBA unions represent about one percent of workers covered by the
talks. They are the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
District Council 38, Pulp and Paper Workers of Canada Local 5, B.C.
Nurses' Union, Construction and Specialized Workers Union Local 1611,
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 230, United
Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 324, United Brotherhood
of Carpenters and Joiners of America and United Steelworkers of America
SOURCE Hospital Employees' Union
For further information:
Mike Old, HEU communications director, 604-828-6771 (cell)