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January 21, 2010

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CUPE members soundly reject Community Health agreement

BURNABY — CUPE members voted overwhelmingly against a proposed agreement in the Community Health sector.

The two-year deal features no general wage increase, no new money for benefits, and no major improvements in employee rights.

Members of CUPE Local 3495, representing workers at the BC Persons with AIDS Society, voted 94% against the proposed agreement.

“Members were appalled that the new deal eliminates pre-existing conditions from coverage under our Long Term Disability plan for new employees,” explains CUPE 3495 president, Zoran Stjepanovic. “This agreement makes second class citizens of anyone with an existing disability that’s hired under this contract. We advocate against different treatment for people with disabilities and we can't accept this in our contract.”

Similarly, members of CUPE Local 4816, employees of the Fraser Health Authority, in an historic vote, unanimously rejected the deal that would also see Long Term Disability benefits shortened by five months.

“This deal has nothing for our members who are already underpaid and undervalued,” says CUPE 4816 president Frank de Waard.

“We suffered a wage roll-back in our last contract and now to have no new money for wages or benefits results in our members falling behind inflation and so we are again seeing a loss in wages.”

Members of CUPE Local 15 will be voting on Thursday, January 21st and Friday, January 22nd and dates are still to be determined for CUPE members of Local 3403-01.

“Community Health workers have gained nothing in this contract and in fact have lost some critical benefits,” CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro commented. "This will negatively impact the services we are able to provide."

Local 15 has also recommended rejection of this deal to their membership.

View CUPE’s Comprehensive Report on the Tentative Agreement.


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