Community health workers ratify contract

Community health workers represented by UFCW 1518 voted in favour of a tentative agreement reached with health employers.

UFCW 1518 represents about 2,000 of the 16,000 home support workers who ratified the three-year contract, which takes effect April 1, 2019.

The new collective agreement brings in yearly wage increases of two percent in each of the next three years in addition to enhanced benefits, provisions for improved scheduling and steps to address staff retention.

“Community health workers deliver critical services to some of the most vulnerable people living in British Columbia,” said Secretary-Treasurer Kim Novak.  “This agreement is a step forward for our members and the communities they serve.”

Today’s vote announcement comes after a tentative agreement was reached in mid-June, the result of weeks of negotiations between the Community Health Bargaining Association (CBA), a coordinated multi-union group, and the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC).

Highlights of the agreement include: wage increases of six per cent over three years for all workers; improvement of employment security provisions; creation of task force to investigate guaranteed hours and other issues, and additional funding for the Enhanced Disability Management Program.

“I want to thank our bargaining committee for their dedication and contribution to this round of negotiations. They had a complex and important task and they represented our members well,” said Secretary-Treasurer Novak.