Community health workers avoid strike action, negotiate tentative agreement - BCGEU

BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) members have reached a tentative agreement with their employer, We Care Home Health Services, a decision that came late last night before a rotating strike was set to begin this morning.

After joining the union last July, the BCGEU bargaining committee began negotiations to improve working conditions for the 221 community health workers at the home support agency. After several months of difficult talks, and resolve by the workers to reach a fair deal, the terms of the tentative agreement are expected to be voted on later this month.

"We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that provides our members with improved compensation, protects fair scheduling, and brings other significant improvements that will enable workers to provide reliable and consistent care to their clients," says BCGEU treasurer Paul Finch. "The union will recommend acceptance of the agreement to members."

The workers provide home support services mainly to seniors, and also work in areas such as addictions, youth palliative care, and mental health care.

"As B.C.'s population continues to age, the demand for home care support will simultaneously increase. This agreement puts all involved in a better position to help meet this demand, and provide the best in care so our seniors can age in place and with dignity," says Finch.

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with over 73,000 members and represents 10,000 workers in community health services throughout the province.

 For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: | c: 604-719-4713