Bargaining update: Negotiations continue at all four tables where HSA members are represented
Negotiations continue at the Health Science Professionals, Nursing, Community Health, and Community Social Services bargaining tables, but there is limited progress to report.
Jeanne Meyers, Chief Negotiator for the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association and HSAs executive director of legal and labour relations, said all four bargaining tables in the health and community social services sectors report slow negotiations. In some cases, the bargaining committees are not currently in direct talks, but are scheduled to return for face to face meetings in the coming weeks.
At every table the pace is glacial. Collective bargaining is all about finding common ground to move towards a contract that achieves objectives for employees as well as employers," she said.
While contract talks are slow, the unions labour relations staff and local stewards continue to work diligently to ensure essential service levels are in place in the event that negotiations do not continue to progress, and unions consider other options, including strike votes, to support the work of the bargaining committees.
News this week of a strike vote by BCGEU members has heightened awareness about negotiations. The strike mandate returned by BCGEU members is in the unions master contract governing wages and working conditions in the direct government service contract, which includes ministry staff and liquor distribution board workers. No HSA members are covered by that contract.