Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA) is proceeding with a job fair to regularize some CHW work at Vancouver Home Support.
Regular and casual CHWs will participate in the job fair process in order of seniority to select regular positions. Positions will be assigned first to regular CHWs in order of seniority, then to casual CHWs in order of seniority. The union participates in the job fair to ensure that it proceeds according to the collective agreement (articles 15.15 and 14.14).
All CHWs need to participate in the process for the reasons explained below. The job fair presents real advantages but also will not resolve ongoing scheduling issues that the employer is not willing to address.
Job fair advantages
First, the job fair is an opportunity for all regular CHWs to select their preferred team and work rotation. This choice was never given to you when you were repatriated to VCHA: your work schedule was imported from the previous service provider. Proceeding with a job fair is the only way to give all CHWs equal opportunity to bid on their preferred team and rotation, in order of seniority. This choice has been denied to you since 2020.
We understand it may be frustrating to apply for your own position if you do not intend to make any changes, but a universal job fair is the only way to proceed to things fair for everyone. Note the CHW R35 positions in the job fair are identical to the current rotations, and we expect minimal changes in days off unless you select another line from your current one.
All CHWs are invited to participate in the job fair and submit a their preferred team and position on the options form, as per the instructions. Note that If you do not submit an options form, the union and the employer will by default select a team/rotation that is closest to your current position.
Second, the job fair will create 111 new, regular full-time CHW positions at Vancouver Home Support that casual CHWs will be able to apply into, in order of seniority. Of these 111 positions, 100 will be fixed shift positions without windows of availability. We strongly encourage casual CHWs to apply for these positions.
Casual CHWs who are hired into one of these 111 regular positions will be entitled to all the benefits under the collective agreement that they currently do not have access to, including health benefits, vacation and other leaves. In addition, these regularization benefits are retroactive to June 1, 2021, which means that every regularized CHW will earn over four weeks of retroactive vacation time.
The job fair and the creation of these 111 new permanent positions is the final step of the repatriation process, which was delayed because of COVID but also because until recently VCHA did not cooperate: The union forced the employer to move by filing numerous grievances, a complaint to BC’s Labour Relations Board, and thanks to a successful steward-led calling campaign.
Scheduling Issues remain
We know that the job fair will not address all CHW scheduling issues that currently exist at Vancouver Home Support, such as scheduling gaps, or reducing windows of availability.
The employer is responsible for scheduling, and despite the job fair opportunity, they chose to maintain existing regular CHWs rotations and leave them unchanged. For instance, the employer chose not to alter any work rotations for the R35 positions, which require nine hours of availability for seven hours of work a day.
VCHA is not willing to look at streamlining / reducing windows of availability at this time. The union is not able to force this because even if it is best practice, there is no language in the collective agreement that forces the employer to streamline or reduce windows of availability. VCHA will only commit to looking into this in a gradual way at some point in the future.
We plan to address this by encouraging members to file scheduling grievances. The union will be sending out a separate FYI bulletin to remind CHWs of the Hours of Work Investigation / grievance process that helps address scheduling issues, including gaps in scheduling, travel time, etc.
You have a lot of information to review and decisions to make. Please direct job fair questions to BCGEU stewards at Vancouver Home Support. They are:
Mary Ann Arce
Scott De Long - Vice President, Component 8 Community Health
Masoud Aminzavvar - Local 803 Chairperson
Florinda Maguire - Lead Steward, Vancouver Home Support
Oliver Rohlfs - Staff Representative
Download PDF of notice here
Do you like this post?