Updated: Hospital support workers reach new contracts

HEU demanded pay raises from multinational contractors

Two groups of Lower Mainland hospital workers have now reached new tentative agreements with private firms that perform housekeeping for health authorities.

A four-year deal was reached late Tuesday with U.S.-based Aramark, whose 1,300 employees handle housekeeping at 33 facilities in Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health.

The Fraser sites include Royal Columbian, Burnaby and Eagle Ridge hospitals.

The Hospital Employees Union had staged a strike vote last week but had not yet begun job action.

Most contracted housekeeping and dietary workers at Fraser Health facilities work for French multinational Sodexho, which reached an agreement with the HEU Sept. 15. Details have not been revealed pending ratification.

Support workers at B.C. Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the B.C. Cancer Centre and several Vancouver Island facilities have conducted their own strike vote against multinational contractor Compass, with results slated for release Oct. 4.

The HEU said the main issue in all three sets of talks has been pay – it’s been two years since workers have had a raise.

Hospital support workers who had been paid $18.50 an hour were fired in 2002 when the provincial government enabled widespread privatization by the health authorities to reduce costs.

Firms like Sodexho took over with non-union workers – often the same ones – and paid them $10 an hour.

The HEU re-certified the non-union workers and negotiated contracts that brought pay back up to $15 an hour by 2011.

The province was also forced to pay compensation to fired workers after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the 2002 terminations were illegal.

Just Posted

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Highest earning staff at Fraser-Cascade School District made public

Also board looks into seat belts on school buses, Marv Cope gets road in his memory

Agassiz teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

AESS students say they had the experience of a life time

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

Bankruptcies in British Columbia on the rise

Consumer bankruptcies climbed by 6. 1 per cent in August 2018 from the same month last year.

22 public toilets in Victoria: 136 people currently peeing

World Toilet Day floats some serious health issues

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts; 77 dead

Trump arrived at the oceanside conclave Saturday afternoon after visiting Northern California to survey the wildfire damage in the town of Paradise.

Trump says ‘no reason’ for him to hear Khashoggi death tape

“It’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape. I’ve been fully briefed on it, there’s no reason for me to hear it,” Trump said in the interview.

Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer.

Metro Vancouver homicide detectives busy after separate weekend deaths

Homicide detectives in Metro Vancouver are investigating separate cases involving two deaths they say appear to be either targeted or suspicious.

Most Read