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Scheduling, portability, and Indigenous rights dominate contract talks this week - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

After more than five months of negotiations, the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) and the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) have signed off on several important proposals that focused on securing new language on employee-initiated scheduling opportunities, portability of benefits and seniority, and Indigenous members' rights. 

The parties achieved landmark language around scheduling and portability that will provide workers with more flexibility, opportunities, and job security. New language on portability also provides important gains for FBA members who accept employment at another work site covered by the facilities collective agreement. In addition to the current contract provisions, where unused credits for sick leave and vacation entitlements can be ported, employees would also be able to port special leave, and the timeframe to port seniority and benefits has been increased and standardized.

As part of our shared commitment to truth and reconciliation, we made some important contract gains for Indigenous health care workers. The Indigenous-specific anti-racism (ISAR) working group developed new language that provides paid leave for ceremonial, cultural and spiritual events for Indigenous workers, as well as unpaid leave to run for public office, including band councils. The parties also agreed to a process for hiring more Indigenous workers to provide cultural expertise, knowledge and leadership in health settings.

The committee also successfully negotiated a ground-breaking Memorandum of Agreement on scheduling entitled the "Employee-Initiated Rotation Proposals and the Rotation Support Fund." This will provide members an opportunity to work with their union and FBA rotation support personnel to propose revised rotations for their unit/department. Rotation revisions are subject first to mutual agreement with the employer, and then to a vote by affected members in which 75 per cent must be in favour for approval. The goal is to reduce the number of six-day rotations, fulfill staffing and operational requirements, and promote recruitment and retention.
Contract talks continue next week.
In solidarity,

Your Facilities Bargaining Association Bargaining Committee