VANCOUVER, Jan. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Bargaining for British Columbia's over
13,000 workers employed in community health kicked off this week. Talks
commenced between the Community Bargaining Association (CBA) and the
Health Employers' Association of BC (HEABC) on January 23 with the
exchange of opening remarks and the initial tabling of proposals.
The CBA presented a summary of the priorities identified by health care
workers and proposals related to housekeeping issues, harassment and
bullying. On Thursday the CBA also tabled proposals related to employer
and union relations.
BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) president Darryl
Walker noted that under the net zero mandate imposed by the provincial
government in the last round of bargaining, health care workers' wages
have not kept up with the rate of inflation.
"Over the last two years, our members have suffered a real wage cut of 5
percent. What we need this time around is a fair and reasonable
agreement for our members that takes into consideration the sacrifices
that they had to make in 2010 bargaining," said Walker.
At the BCGEU bargaining conference in December 2011, members identified
wage increases, job security, benefits and scheduling as their main
Walker also spoke about the importance of community health and the
savings that the sector provides in provincial health care spending.
"Home support services keep seniors and other clients in their homes and
out of expensive acute care beds," said Walker.
"If our government invests in community health and in recruitment and
retention of workers in the sector, it will save big money in other
areas of the health care system."
Negotiations resume in Vancouver on February 6th for four more weeks of bargaining. Additional dates have been set
through to the end of March.
The CBA represents health care workers who provide home-based
medically-related support services to seniors and persons with
disabilities. Workers in the sector also provide community-based health
services including mental health and addictions services and
administrative support to home support agencies and health authorities.
BCGEU is the largest union in the CBA with over 8,000 members. The other
unions in the association are UFCW 1518, HEU, CUPE, HSA, USWA and CLAC.
SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Erin Sikora at 778-238-0300