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FBA bargaining focused on health and safety - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Negotiations for a new facilities subsector collective agreement continued last week, with your Health Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) negotiating committee pressing for effective pandemic response tools, and stronger collective agreement language for orientation and training of new staff. 

We told the Health Employers' Association of BC (HEABC) that pandemic response tools need to include

  • improved access to a range of PPE and safety attire
  • better communication and information sharing
  • provisions that strengthen members' ability to respond to health and safety issues

COVID-19 continues to put workers, patients and residents at risk, with a large number of new cases occurring in health care settings.

Health care workers need access to equipment and procedures that ensure that they can keep themselves safe while providing critical care and support. And there needs to be plans in place for outbreaks or epidemics we may face in the years to come.

Four bargaining committee members from around B.C. shared their direct experiences with the employer.

They talked of the physical risks and emotional toll heightened by miscommunication, conflicting directions and inadequate access to PPE, especially during the early days of the pandemic.

They also raised issues around the orientation and training of new staff -- key to recruitment and retention.

Worker safety continues to be a high priority for us in these talks, including updating provisions that ensure workplace health and safety, like the operation of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees.

In addition, we discussed ways to foster respectful workplaces like measures to address Human Rights Code concerns and bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment.

We expect to return to the table June 17.

In solidarity,

Your Health Facilities Bargaining Association Negotiating Team

BC General Employees Union (BCGEU), Hospital Employees Union (HEU), Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 882, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 230.