Health bargaining has flatlined
Yesterday, BCGEU members who work directly for the B.C. Government ratified their new collective agreement, which contains a four per cent wage increase, job security and other gains. This concluded a process that began a year ago with our bargaining conference, followed by ten months of difficult negotiations and job action.
We wish yesterday’s outcome for the caring professionals who work in our health, community social services (CSS) and post secondary education bargaining units. Unfortunately, we’re a long way from there. I was on the picket line today with BCGEU members who work in support services at BCIT. CSS strikes have been rotating at various worksites around the province for several weeks. More locations are being hit this week.
Thousands of health care workers are expected to begin job action in the coming days and weeks.
• Community Health members are striking starting November 7 (and holding a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery - if you can attend. Begins at 12:15pm)
• Health Facilities members, who last week announced they’d voted 96 per cent in favour of strike action, are considering their next move.
• Health Sciences workers are taking a strike vote. Depending on how it turns out, they could soon be joining thousands more on a picket line.
The BCGEU is one of the largest health unions in B.C. We represent thousands of members in health care province-wide. We’ve been bargaining patiently for months. We’ve tabled fair and reasonable proposals aimed at rebuilding health care and preventing our members from falling further behind in wages and benefits. The employers’ bargaining associations haven’t responded. We’ve been pushed to the limit.
The BCGEU never takes the decision to commence job action lightly. In doing so, we hope to convince employers to engage in productive negotiations with us.