Fourty-four thousand hospital and long-term care workers in BC have a tentative new labour deal with the province.
More than 90 percent of the workers are members of the Hospital Employees Union who still have to ratify the pact.
No specific word yet on wages, but the union says it includes initiatives to tackle the high rate of injuries and violence workers face.
“We’re pleased that health employers and government have agreed to work with us to tackle workplace injuries and violence at a system-wide level,” says Jennifer Whiteside, HEU secretary-business manager . “It’s the only way we’ll achieve sustainable and significant health and safety improvements for our members.”
It also restores contracting out protections for first time in more than 16 years.
Full details of the agreement which include compensation increases in line with the government’s negotiating mandate for public sector employers, will be provided to union members in advance of ratification votes which are yet to be scheduled.
The tentative agreement was reached after nine-weeks of talks which began in early September.
Workers covered by the agreement work in hundreds of job classifications in hospitals and health clinics, long-term care homes, corporate offices and supply warehouses.
They work in direct patient and resident care as well as in support services, technical, clerical and trades and maintenance areas.
In addition to HEU, the Facilities Bargaining Association includes workers in nine other unions, including the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and the International Union of Operating Engineers.