Union says province treading in dangerous constitutional waters by
redefining bargaining units without proper consultation
VANCOUVER, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - A move by the B.C. Liberal government
to fundamentally change the way that workers are represented in the
health sector was done without prior consultation, says the Hospital
Bill 18 - the Health Authorities Amendment Act - would transfer approximately 8,200 licensed practical nurses from the
multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association to another bargaining
HEU is the lead union in the FBA, representing the majority of workers
in the 46,000-member bargaining unit including 1,200 LPNs.
HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson says that by failing to
consult with the union prior to introducing the bill today, the B.C.
Liberals are repeating a mistake that they committed in 2002 when they
introduced legislation ripping up health care collective agreements.
In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled several provisions of the
legislation to be unconstitutional and noted the Campbell government's
lack of consultation with affected unions as a major factor in their
"This government had every opportunity to consult before introducing
this last minute legislation and they have failed to do so," says
"And with just a few days left in the session to jam through this
legislation, there will be no meaningful consultation on this
Pearson says that if LPNs are transferred into another bargaining unit
as a result of the legislation becoming law, HEU will assert its rights
to continue to represent its members.
Prior to the last major restructuring of health bargaining units,
government struck two major inquiries to consult with stakeholders
before implementing the current structure in the late 1990s.
Today's legislation also would transfer community-based LPNs out of the
Community Bargaining Association.
SOURCE: Hospital Employees' Union
For further information:
Mike Old, communications director, 604-828-6771 (cell)