Your BCGEU bargaining team has reviewed the tentative three-year agreement for members in the facilities subsector and is recommending members vote "yes" in ratification votes that are being scheduled for mid-January 2019.
The agreement, which covers 44,000 health care workers, of which 2,000 are BCGEU members, was reached between the multi-union FBA and the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) on December 1 after nine weeks of talks.
The new agreement includes language and resources that will help tackle high injury rates in health care and provides workers with more job security protections in the face of health care restructuring. It includes the elimination of the contracting-out cap and a restoration of pre-2002 contracting-out protections.
Wages and premium increases
The three-year agreement includes general wage increases of six per cent, in line with other settlements reached with government employees, community health workers, nurses and health science professionals, under the government's negotiating mandate.
There are also significant improvements to shift premiums, on-call differentials and the isolation allowance. In addition, grids 7, 8 and 9 will be phased out by 2020 with all impacted members moved to grid 10.
There are extensive improvements and additions proposed to the collective agreement, which will be detailed in a comprehensive report available in early January before members are asked to vote on the agreement.
Health and safety
The tentative agreement includes a number of language improvements to tackle the ongoing workload crisis in health care – a top issue identified by members during bargaining consultation.
The OH&S language in Article 37 of the agreement has been bolstered to provide OH&S reps with more tools to advocate for members.
And the agreement includes an $8.5 million commitment from the Ministry of Health to re-establish a provincial organization focused on health and safety across the health care sector.
This is a major step forward in addressing the risks to members who work in some of B.C.'s most dangerous workplaces, and an initiative that the union has been advocating for at all levels.
BCGEU and its union partners also negotiated a number of provisions to address the uncertainty and chaos that has accompanied restructuring, consolidation and privatization in the health sector.
In addition to restoring pre-2002 contracting-out protections, employers and government have agreed to a process that will consider bringing contracted-out work back under the control of health authorities.
And there's a renewed focus on recruitment and retention issues for facilities members with employers agreeing to work with the union to identify barriers and propose solutions.
The tentative agreement also gives expanded rights to displaced employees at multi-employer sites and improves access to stewarding for all members at these sites.
This tentative agreement puts us on the path to safer workplaces, where our members get more rights, more respect, and more security.
The agreement must be ratified by both union members and health employers.
In addition to BCGEU, the FBA includes workers in nine other unions.
We are very proud of our bargaining committee and FBA partners who showed a lot of wisdom and dedication in making immediate and sustainable gains in a 'no concessions' agreement that will improve the working lives of our members.
The BCGEU bargaining committee of the Facilities Bargaining Association is:
Christine Fuller, BCGEU committee chairperson, Northern Health Authority
Deborah Wagner, Interior Health Authority
Richard Ziemianski, Vancouver Island Health Authority
Joel Blanco, Vancouver Island Health Authority
Mahen Ramdharry, Provincial Health Services Authority
Holly Derco, Provincial Health Services Authority
Gary Bennett, BCGEU staff negotiator
Download PDF of notice here
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