Unions await mediator's recommendations aimed at settling contract at Deltassist

Mediator Grant MacArthur is poised to issue recommendations to settle a collective agreement at Deltassist Family and Community Services. Two unions, the Health Sciences Association (HSA) and the Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW) represent about 40 employees at Deltassist.

HSA negotiator Dave Martin said following two days of mediation last week around a framework settlement agreement devised by the mediator, very few issues remain outstanding.

"Employees at Deltassist have waited a long time for a collective agreement. When staff voted to join a union several years ago it was because they were looking for the protections a collective agreement offers them.

"And it's not hard to see why. We have a member who was diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing treatment. While she was on sick leave, Deltassist laid her off and cut her off from her benefits. We have staff who have left their positions working with troubled youth because the stress of dealing with management was too arduous."

"After almost two years of trying to negotiate a collective agreement, we had to turn to a third party to make some inroads. I am optimistic that the mediator's work and commitment to settling this dispute will result in a collective agreement that starts to address the concerns of the people who deliver critical services to families in Delta and Surrey," Martin said.

The mediator's recommendations are expected to be released in the coming days. The unions will hold a meeting for members to vote on the recommendations as soon as possible after they are released - likely late next week.