As many members are aware, the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) has had an ongoing dispute with the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM) regarding their Better at Home program and the role of our community health workers. We can now report that we are making positive progress.
President Stephanie Smith, Carla Dempsey (vice president of community health services), and Dan Cahill (director of advocacy) have been working hard to design a fair framework that could lead to a resolution of our differences.
This week, the dispute resolution protocol was signed by both the BCGEU and the UWLM. Chris Sullivan, a well-respected arbitrator, has been appointed to chair a dispute resolution committee that will also include two representatives each from the BCGEU and UWLM. The BCGEU representatives will be Carla Dempsey and Dan Cahill.
President Stephanie Smith was quick to acknowledge the efforts of the Board of UWLM. "I'm looking forward to seeing a positive resolution," says Stephanie Smith. "We'd like to see an agreement that recognizes the efforts of Better at Home volunteers, but has a seamless way to transfer clients to community health workers if they have a publicly-mandated care plan."
Meetings are scheduled to begin shortly, and members will be updated as the process progresses.
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