July 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Facilities talks resume though progress continues to be slow
Negotiations for a renewed Facilities collective agreement resumed this past Wednesday for the first time since late May.
Like most major sets of negotiations in the public sector, progress at the bargaining table continues to be slow.
At the Facilities table, health employers have not yet tabled their entire package of demands though they have signalled that they will be seeking “savings” in the collective agreement. The multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association has made it clear that a new collective agreement must include a reasonable compensation increase for members.
During negotiations this past week, there was some agreement on changes to the arbitration process in the collective agreement to streamline the scheduling of grievances.
Both sides have continued to discuss a number of issues related to access to work including casual call-in language and job posting procedures, but there has been no agreement on these issues.
And the FBA’s bargaining demands on improved health and safety language and on scheduling improvements including fixed day rotations are still outstanding.
FBA spokesperson Bonnie Pearson says that the unions continue to press health employers to fully disclose their bargaining package on monetary issues so that the parties can negotiate agreements on issues of mutual interest.
“It’s important for health employers to put forward their full package – and respond to our bargaining demands – so that we can move this process forward,” says Pearson, who is the secretary-business manager for the Hospital Employees’ Union.
Bargaining resumes on July 25.
The collective agreement covers a diverse health care team that includes workers in hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostic treatment centres as well as emergency health services and shared services such as logistics and supply operations.
HEU represents about 85 per cent of health care workers in the FBA. 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. Eight other unions in the association represent one per cent of workers covered by the talks.