BC government compensates workers for broken community social services agreements

Four unions have reached a settlement with the BC government that provides compensation for community social services workers who lost job security provisions under the Liberal governments 2002 contract-breaking legislation known as Bill 29.

The settlement amounts to $425,000 divided among four unions, including Health Sciences Association of BC. The other unions are the BC Government and Service Employees Union which represents approximately 70 per cent of workers in the sector, along with the Canadian Union of Public Employees and Hospital Employees Union.

In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Charter right to freedom of association had been infringed because key provisions of unions collective agreements were torn up under Bill 29. Following that ruling, the BC government in 2008 paid a settlement of $85-million to the unions whose health worker members had been affected by Bill 29.

At issue under this latest settlement was the BC governments removal of job security provisions from negotiated collective agreements that specifically affected community social services workers.

Information on the disbursement plan of the portion of the settlement amount directed to affected HSA members will be released as it is developed.