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Community Health Bargaining Updates

November 22, 2022

Bargaining update, member outreach - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

A delegation from the constituent unions of the CBA met with HEABC and a representative of the Public Sector Employers' Council Secretariat (PSEC) on November 3, 2022. 

It was our goal to impress upon PSEC that the CBA was unable to meet the core priorities we had established based on the monetary offer we have received. In particular we outlined the dramatic differences in compensation between CBA and FBA workers and the impact it has had, and will continue to have, on recruitment and retention in the CBA. 

Although we feel we clearly demonstrated the disparity, we have received no indication that the monetary offer from the Province of B.C. will change. 

We are deeply disappointed and feel there is no purpose in further meetings with HEABC until we have had the chance to speak directly to members. Over the next several weeks and into the new year, locals will be reaching out to the membership. 

This will be your opportunity to learn more about what a deal based on the current offer would mean for you, what essential services are and how they work, and what a potential strike vote and resulting job action would look like. More importantly, it will be your opportunity to voice your opinion to your elected officers. 

If you want to share feedback immediately, please contact your local chair – you can find contact information here: If you are willing to help hand out strike or ratification ballots at your worksite, click here to sign up

As we move forward, please make sure our union has your complete contact information. You can review this on the Member Portal by logging in here. If you've forgotten your password, you can reset it here. If you don't yet have a Member Portal account, click here to sign up today

We anticipate this process will be completed in mid-January and the constituent unions of the CBA will reconvene at that time. 

In solidarity, 

Your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee 


October 26, 2022

Bargaining continues, progress stalling - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

The CBA bargaining committee resumed negotiations with HEABC on October 19 – 21, 2022. 

We have made some progress and are close to resolving outstanding non-monetary matters and we're currently working to reach an agreement on changes to hours of work in both Article 14 and 15. 

However, HEABC (on behalf of the Provincial government) has reiterated that their initial monetary offer has not changed. Although this offer includes monies to match the top rate of CBA classifications to the comparable FBA rate, it does nothing to address the significant gap in shift premium rates, vacation entitlement, or the three years of full-time hours it takes to reach the top step. 

More concerning is that there is no additional money at the bargaining table to fund the Joint Community Benefits Trust at the same contribution rates as the FBA. This means that not only will we not be able to match benefits, we'll remain in a position where the benefits of workers in the CBA could be reduced. We are committed to stopping this, but at this time there is no offer of additional monies from the province to avoid this in the long term. 

We are going to make one more attempt to resolve these matters in the coming weeks at the bargaining table. If we are unsuccessful, we will have no other choice but to engage members on next steps up to and including the potential of taking a strike vote. 

It's critical that we have your up-to-date contact information as we move forward, including phone number and mailing address. The BCGEU Member Portal makes it easy to make any updates, just log in here. If you've forgotten your password, you can reset it here. If you don't yet have a Member Portal account, click here to sign up today. You will just need your employee number as well as your BCGEU member ID to get set up. 

We remain committed to closing the gap – healthcare workers in the community deserve no less – but we are increasingly concerned we can't accomplish that without a clear mandate from you. 

In solidarity,

Your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee 

PS. If you know of any of your co-workers who are not receiving these updates from our union, please send them this email and ask them to update their information by logging on to the Member Portal


September 29, 2022

Community Health - Bargaining update, paused until Oct/Nov - BC General Empl...

Your bargaining committee members, along with the committee members from seven other unions have been bargaining for the last three weeks. Bargaining is now on hold while we look at scheduling new dates and we anticipate talks will resume in late October or early November. 

Since our last update, your employer has continued to resist most of our non-monetary language changes that would create greater certainty, and a greater say for workers about their working conditions. It is our belief that these are critical components of addressing recruitment and retention outside of the clear economic differences between health care workers in the community, and our counterparts in facilities. 

It is a struggle to make progress, and frustrating that the employer has not come to the table with ideas of their own to address the recruitment and retention crisis. 

With regards to monetary proposals, we are still significantly apart. Our goal in this round of bargaining is to see meaningful progress in closing the gap with other health agreements when it comes to overall wages, premiums and vacation. The offer as it stands today still does not adequately address this gap. 

Although there are proposals that would close the gap at step four with facilities, a good portion of that money is at the expense of additional monies offered at virtually every other provincial bargaining table. In other words, they will make up some of the gap, but they expect you to pay for some of it by moving money from other parts of the agreement. 

Finally, there is a real danger that due to structural underfinancing of the Joint Community Benefit Trust, benefits for workers in community health will be reduced on January 1, 2023. We are absolutely committed to stopping this, but at this time there is no offer of additional monies from the province at the bargaining table to avoid this. 

We have made some progress on meaningful non-monetary items – but it isn't enough – and we will continue to demand progress towards closing the gap when bargaining resumes. 

In solidarity, 

Your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee


September 23, 2022

Community Health - Bargaining update - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

For most of the last two weeks the BCGEU, along with seven other constituent unions of the CBA, has been at the bargaining table with the Health Employers' Association of BC (HEABC) working towards a tentative agreement.
We had hoped to have good news about progress but, unfortunately, we are not satisfied with where negotiations stand at this time.

Your employer has resisted virtually all non-monetary proposals that would bridge the gap between ourselves and our colleagues who work in the Facilities sector. As an example, not only did your employer come to the table with no plan to address recruitment and retention, they've actually resisted many of our proposals and ideas to make improvements in this area.

In addition, your employer's monetary offer does not address the three biggest disparities in our agreement in terms of wage rates, shift premiums, and vacation. In fact, their core monetary offer is actually less than what was offered to the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA). 

To be clear, we believe workers in the FBA deserve every penny they have in their agreement, we simply want equal pay, premiums, and vacation for workers in the CBA. But the only message we are getting from your employer is that they disagree. 

Your employer is also refusing to properly maintain the benefit trust that provides members in community health with extended health, extended dental, and long-term disability. This trust was implemented to achieve a cost effective yet equal level of benefits as the trusts covering other health care workers. And, although we have made clear that the trust requires an immediate infusion of money along with increased and ongoing contributions by the employer to avoid benefit reductions, the employer has not offered any additional monies. Instead, they expect CBA members to pay for maintaining the benefit trust from the money we would otherwise use to increase other parts of the agreement such as premium increases, vacation increases, and wage increases. In other words, concessions.

While progress has not been what we hoped, there is some good news to report. During the last two weeks we have achieved language that:

  • Covers the distribution of overtime that we hope will begin to bring transparency and fairness to overtime opportunities.
  • Allows for full mobility with Health Authorities. However, these alone will not begin to address recruitment and retention.

The bottom line is your employer wants to offer us a deal that would see us fall further behind at a time when health care workers in the community have not only weathered a pandemic but continue to face the opioid crisis and chronic understaffing.
Your committee is committed to fighting back, to closing the gap, and to ensuring you get the deal you deserve.
In solidarity,
Scott De Long, Vice President, Chairperson of the Bargaining Committee
On behalf of your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee

It's more important than ever that our union has up-to-date contact information for all Community Health members – particularly in the event that we cannot reach an agreement with HEABC and have to take a strike vote. You can review your information on the Member Portal by logging in here. If you've forgotten your password, you can reset it here. If you don't yet have a Member Portal account, click here to sign up today.


July 20, 2022

Update + bargaining FAQ - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

As noted in our last email, our committee was close to a deal on mobility and overtime by seniority and we are pleased to report that we arrived at an agreement in principle regarding mobility and very close to an agreement on overtime distribution. This will be the first time our collective agreement will have these provisions, and we feel this is a significant achievement to finish on as we pause bargaining for the summer.
Our next bargaining dates are scheduled for September but in the meantime, here are a few things you can do:

As you may have heard, talks have currently broken down between the Public Service Agency (PSA) and our fellow BCGEU members working in the public service who took a strike vote in June. We’ll continue to watch closely as they fight for a fair and equitable contract that addresses the rising cost-of-living – a key issue that all union members bargaining this year are concerned with.
In solidarity,
Your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee


June 23, 2022

Fellow BCGEU members in the public service voted in favour of strike action -...

Have you heard the news? Your fellow BCGEU members in the Public Service voted 94.6% in favour of striking for a fair collective agreement that includes cost-of-living-adjustments. Here’s how this affects you:
Members directly employed by the Government of B.C. took a strike vote to push their employer, the Public Service Agency (PSA), to improve their disappointing wage offer and come back with a fair proposal. As the vote wrapped up – before we even knew the results – their employer asked the union’s bargaining committee to return to negotiations. 
Just by voting, your fellow members sent a strong message to their employer. Today they amplified that message, and made it clear they’re united in their commitment to negotiate fair wages. They are now in a strong position to get a fair deal, and this is good news for you because the public service is the largest sectoral bargaining unit in the province and can set a strong precedent for other sectors like yours.
A win for the public service is a win for you. 
Am I going on strike? 
No, your bargaining unit is not going on strike. The strike vote does not apply to your bargaining unit, only to the 33,000 members in the Public Service (direct government services in Components 1, 5, 6, 12 and 20).
Are public service members going on strike? 
Not immediately. This will depend on their employer’s position when they return to the bargaining table. Depending on that, BCGEU public service members may have to action the strike vote. Don't worry – we will provide updates when we know more. 
Many of you work alongside these members, we all depend on the services they provide, so your union will tell you ahead of time if there will be any job action.
Make sure to keep up-to-date with updates from your bargaining committee to find out actions you can take to help them apply pressure at the bargaining table. If they’re feeling the strength of our solidarity from all sides, they cannot ignore us. 
In Solidarity,
Stephanie Smith
BCGEU President 


June 15, 2022

C8 - Community Health Bargaining Update - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

After bargaining with Health Employers' Association of BC (HEABC) these last couple days and for two weeks in May, we are close to agreement on issues around mobility, overtime, and other non-monetary items.

We have created the following working groups:

· Arbitrator/Mediator Lists 

· MOA 6-9, and 26-Memoranda of Agreement relating to Superior Provisions and New Certifications

· Membership Cards/Member Information 

· Occupational Health and Safety

· Pandemic/Natural Disaster 

· ISAR- a working group discussing the In Plain Sight Report, Reconciliation and decolonizing the collective agreement.

These working groups are made up of representatives from both the union and employer side and are tasked with writing recommendations that will help streamline bargaining. The working groups will be meeting while we are not at the bargaining table through the next couple of months. 

We have bargaining dates set for June 21-23 where we will be addressing remaining non-monetary issues.

Through the summer, we will be reaching out to update your member information and prepare ourselves in case we cannot reach an agreement with HEABC and need to take a strike vote. 

We are not currently taking a strike vote in Community Health. We will keep you regularly updated, and you will have plenty of notice should you need to participate in a strike vote.

In the meantime, remember to review and update your contact information in order to receive important bargaining updates: Log into the Member Portal and click "Manage Contact Info". Make sure your personal email and cell phone number are on file.

If you don't have an account yet, click here request your account, and then watch for an email with instructions on how to activate it.


In solidarity,

Your Community Health Bargaining Association Team

Scott De Long, Vice President
MJ Colquhoun, Provincial Executive Member
Charmaine Fines, 802
Masoud Aminzavvar, 803
Shelley Einarson, 804
Darla Holmwood, 807
Teen Boschma, 801
Kari Michaels, Executive Vice President
Richard Tones, BCGEU Negotiator


June 03, 2022

Current strike vote for members working in the Public Service - BC General ...

We're getting a lot of questions about the public service strike vote and want to clarify what is currently happening.

33,000 fellow BCGEU members who work directly for the Government of BC are casting ballots right now to help deliver a strong message to government compelling them to get back to the bargaining table with a wage offer that includes cost of living protections (COLA).

A strong strike vote does not necessarily mean these members will go on strike or take job action, but it shows their employer that they are ready to do so if necessary. Their show of determination and solidarity will benefit all union members bargaining this year.

Your bargaining unit is not currently taking a strike vote. There is no need for you to participate in the strike vote currently happening and you are not eligible to vote right now unless you are covered by the Public Service collective agreement.
There may come a time that we need to take a strike vote in Community Health to send a message to HEABC that what they are offering isn't good enough, but we are not at that stage of bargaining right now.
We are taking the necessary steps to prepare for our own strike vote. Over the coming months, we will be working with local activists to ensure that we are ready take action to apply pressure in bargaining. We will keep you regularly updated, and you will have plenty of notice should you need to participate in a strike vote.
For now, you can support the public service strike vote by sharing BCGEU posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
If you have coworkers who are not receiving our emails, forward this email to them so they can update their information and get the most up-to-date news on bargaining.
In solidarity,
Your Community Health Bargaining Association Team