VANCOUVER, June 25, 2012 /CNW/ - A mediator has been appointed to the
labour dispute between Westbank First Nation and members of the BCGEU
who work at Pine Acres Home.
Westbank First Nation, who operate Pine Acres, had issued lock out
notice for the 77 unionized employees on Friday. The lock out was to
take effect this morning.
Early Saturday the employer agreed to mediation and the lock out notice
Mediation will begin on Thursday and the BC Labour Relations Board has
appointed mediator Grant McArthur. Lock out and strikes are prohibited
until mediation is concluded.
An impasse was reached at the bargaining table when Westbank First
Nation was seeking massive concessions, including a $4-an-hour wage
cut, large reductions to vacation time and sick time, cuts to benefits
and the elimination of a pension for new hires.
"The employer's proposal would impose a two-tier agreement," says BCGEU
President Darryl Walker. "This would result in two very different
working conditions and wages within the bargaining unit. This is just
another example of a private healthcare employer attempting to drive
down wages for our members."
Pine Acres, an intermediate care facility, is home to 63 seniors and
elders. Many of the employees at Pine Acres - working as LPNs, care
aides, activity aides, laundry, housekeeping and kitchen staff - have
worked at the facility for decades, and 23 employees are also First
SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Holly Reid, BCGEU Communications (604) 291-9611 or (604) 785-0124.