October 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM
Health employers, government running out the clock at Facilities table
B.C.’s health employers are continuing to stall on providing any concrete responses to union proposals at negotiations for a new Facilities agreement covering 46,000 health care workers.
The multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association returned to bargaining last Wednesday with an expectation that employers and government would be ready to negotiate on a number of important union proposals on healthy and safe workplaces, seniority rights, job security, and a fair and reasonable wage increase.
Now, with just 24 hours left in scheduled talks, FBA spokesperson Bonnie Pearson says it is time for government and health employers to engage in meaningful bargaining.
“In the meantime, our unions are preparing for strike votes beginning next week,” says Pearson, who is also secretary-business manager for the Hospital Employees’ Union.
“We’ll be looking for a strong strike mandate from our members to continue to oppose employer demands that would shift hundreds of dollars in benefit costs onto the shoulders of individual workers.”
Facilities negotiations began last February 8.
The collective agreement includes more than 270 job classifications working at hospitals, care homes, diagnostic treatment centres, emergency health services, logistics and supply operations and corporate services.
The Hospital Employees’ Union represents most union members impacted by the talks. BCGEU, BCNU, CUPE Local 873, IUOE Local 882-882H and several other unions represent the balance of members in the 12-union FBA.