Finance Minister Carole James has 180 union contracts expiring in March 2019. (Hansard TV)

BCGEU health care members ratify three-year deal

Wage increase of two per cent a year for 16,000 employees

Members of a multi-union group working in B.C. community living homes and services have voted to accept a new three-year employment contract, eight months before the existing contract expires.

The contract covers 16,000 people and was recommended to members in June by the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and others in the community health bargaining group.

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith said the agreement also provides improved benefits and scheduling and employee security improvements

The B.C. finance ministry said in a statement the agreement includes targeted funding of $40 million to “close existing wage gaps and address staff turnover between community health and facilities occupations.”

The targeted funding is expected to improve continuity of care for people in private, group and residential community living homes, employment programs, child development centres, adult day programs, mental health centres and community service agencies.

The BCGEU reached a similar agreement in June on behalf of 26,500 public service employees, including sheriffs at provincial courthouses and employees of the Liquor Distribution Branch.

RELATED: Sheriffs, liquor employees reach deal

The current agreement expires in March 2019, one of 180 provincial union contracts that are coming up for renewal. There are more than 422,000 employees in the B.C. public service and its agencies, with 326,000 represented by unions.

Just Posted

One of Chilliwack’s oldest clubs, Toastmasters, hosts an open public speaking event this month

An open house will take place on Oct. 24 at the Mt. Cheam Lions Club Hall at 7:15 p.m.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Canada Post supports popular literacy program in Agassiz, Seabird Island

Community foundation awards grant to Story time in the Park

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Agassiz, Harrison thank fire crews for battling Mt. Hicks wildfire

Dinner for crews hosted by Agassiz Seniors Community Friday night

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Proportional representation grows government, B.C. study finds

Spending, deficits higher in countries where voting system used

Black market will thrive until small pot growers and sellers included: advocates

Advocates say the black market will continue to thrive until small retail shops and craft growers are included in the regime.

Goodbye cable, hello Netflix: 1/3 of Canadians cut the cord

Just under half of households no longer have a landline phone

‘Some baloney’ in assertion Canada’s pension fund has highest ethical standards

The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney”.

In Mexico Beach after Hurricane Michael, some coming home find no home

State emergency management officials said some 124,500 customers across the Panhandle were still without power Wednesday morning and 1,157 remained in shelters.

Man linked to Saudi prince at consulate when writer vanished

Saudi Arabia, which initially called the allegations “baseless,” has not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press over recent days.

5 to start your day

Cannabis is legalized across B.C., silly election signs pop up in Langley and more

Manhunt in Crimea for possible accomplice in school attack

An 18-year-old student, who later killed himself, was initially believed to be the only one involved

Most Read