Tentative agreement reached for health workers

Two hundred health workers at the BVDH, Wrinch Memorial Hospital and the Bulkley Lodge won't be walking off the job anytime soon.

Two hundred health workers at the Bulkey Valley District Hospital, Wrinch Memorial Hospital and the Bulkley Lodge won’t be walking off the job anytime soon.

The multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association representing 47,000 health care workers across the province has reached a tentative settlement with B.C.’s health employers according to press releases from the Hospital Employees’ Union and the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union.

The HEU has about 70 members employed at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital and 40 at Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton. BCGEU has 90 members working at the Bulkley Lodge.

The bargaining committee is unanimously recommending the five year deal to its constituent unions. The provincial executive of the HEU voted today to recommend ratification to its members. The BCGEU Facilities bargaining committee is recommending acceptance of the agreement as well.

The settlement includes 5.5 per cent in general wage increases over the life of the agreement, it also limits outside contracts, expands employment options and protects benefits.

It also includes provisions that address outstanding issues with pay scales for paramedics, while potentially enhancing paramedics’ ability to participate in a community paramedic program.

Members will vote on the deal in June.

Their current agreement expired on March 31, 2014.