The ratification vote for the tentative collective agreements for 2200 UFCW 1518 members in the community health and social services sectors begins next week. The agreements were reached four weeks after the two bargaining associations representing more than 30,000 members entered early contract talks with the government.
Highlights of the agreements include a general wage increase of two percent in each year and a significant amount of money toward low wage redress. This will be primarily used for wages, and may be used for weekend and shift premiums, on call premiums, statutory holiday pay, and other compensation to be determined by a committee. The agreements also feature improved steward rights, to ensure members have adequate representation at work.
These gains are important as they move toward achieving parity with those who perform the same work in facilities. “I want to thank our committee for their very hard work throughout this round of bargaining,” said Secretary-Treasurer Kim Novak. “We are pleased to see improvements to wages and low wage redress which is long overdue, but as with any round of bargaining, we did not achieve everything we wanted.”
Negotiations moved very quickly and the relationship with the new NDP government is still developing. “Our work isn’t done. We need to continue to lobby the government on issues like contracting out – that is absolutely a must,” Novak added.
UFCW 1518 bargains on behalf of its members as part of two bargaining associations. The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) is composed of 10 unions and represents about 15,000 workers in the social services sector across the province. The Community Bargaining Association (CBA) represents about 16,000 employees working in community health in British Columbia and includes BCGEU, HEU, CUPE, HSA and USWA, among other unions.
Voting for the CBA/HEABC agreement will conclude July 24. voting for the CSSBA/CSSEA agreement will be complete by August 13. If ratified, the agreements will be effective April 1, 2019.
For the community health tentative agreement click here. The social services tentative agreement is expected next week.