Health care workers ratify five-year contract

Deal with HEU and other unions brings stability, 5.5 per cent in pay hikes

Unionized health care workers have ratified a new five-year contract that brings B.C. closer to long-term labour peace in hospitals and care homes.

The collective agreement reached earlier this month with 11 unions averted a possible strike by 47,000 health support workers, most of them represented by the Hospital Employees Union. It was approved by a 64.6 per cent vote in favour.

The deal provides wage hikes of 5.5 per cent over five years and includes a cap on contracting out of 500 full-time equivalent positions.

It also covers ambulance paramedics, with specific provisions related to their issues.

HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson said the agreement provides some stability and certainty in a sector that’s been racked by privatization and restructuring.

Union members had voted 96 per cent in favour of strike action in May.

The agreement is within the limits of the province’s economic stability mandate, meaning health workers are eligible for further pay hikes if the province’s economy does better than forecast.

“This agreement helps ensure sustainability, both in costs and service delivery,” said Michael Marchbank, president of the Health Employers Association of B.C.

He said it also further integrates emergency health services into the broader health care system and paves the way for the province-wide implementation of a paramedicine program.

The province now has similar long-term deals with 75,000 unionized health care workers. Negotiations continue with nurses as well as physician residents.

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read