Tentative agreement reached with health-care employees

The Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) and the Health Employers' Association of BC (HEABC) have reached a tentative agreement covering nearly 42,000 people working as care aides, cleaners, lab assistants and nursing-unit assistants, as well as in food services.

Further details about the agreement will be available once the ratification process for the 10 FBA unions, HEABC and its member-employers is completed.

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More than 90 per cent of the workers covered are Hospital Employees’ Union members.

HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside, chief negotiator for the FBA, said the proposed agreement includes initiatives to tackle a high rate of injuries.

“We’re pleased that health employers and government have agreed to work with us to tackle workplace injuries and violence at a system-wide level,” Whiteside said. “It’s the only way we’ll achieve sustainable and significant health and safety improvements for our members.”

Whiteside said the settlement also restores and strengthens protections against contracting out that were stripped from the collective agreement in 2002 by the B.C. Liberal government of the day.

The tentative agreement was reached after a total of nine weeks of talks which began in early September.

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