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February 23, 2012

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Third week of community health bargaining

Unions seek agreement on health and safety and scheduling

BURNABY—The third week of Community Health bargaining ended last week after three days of meetings between the Community Bargaining Association (CBA) and the Health Employers Association of BC. 

The CBA tabled proposals on occupational health and safety, which included specific proposals on aggressive behaviour, investigation of accidents and working alone or in isolation and communicable diseases.

The unions also tabled proposals aimed at reducing the time it takes to process grievances and discussed the issue of scheduling community health workers.

The employers tabled housekeeping proposals, in addition to housekeeping proposals previously tabled by the CBA. The parties agreed to some of these proposals last week.

“Health and safety issues were tabled early on because our members identified them as important issues,” said CUPE bargaining committee member Pat Taylor. “We are anxiously waiting to hear back from the employer, but so far negotiations haven’t been moving very quickly.”

“We are committed to negotiating a fair and reasonable collective agreement for our members and we have presented proposals to deal with longstanding workplace issues,” said Jill Stromnes, also a CUPE bargaining committee member.

“The committee is looking forward to the employers’ quick and positive response to these initiatives.”

Talks are scheduled to continue for two more weeks in Vancouver with additional sessions scheduled through to the end of March.

The Community Bargaining Association represents over 14,0000 health care workers who provide home-based medically-related support services to seniors and persons with disabilities. Workers in the sector also provide community-based health services including mental health and addictions services and administrative support to home support agencies and health authorities.

CUPE represents approximately 500 members in the CBA and other unions in the association include BCGEU, UFCW 1518, HEU, HSA, USWA and CLAC.


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