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

Sts’ailes First Nation to vote on land code

Land Code would remove nation from 34 sections of Indian Act

Water upgrade work starts in Harrison

Participation compulsory for impacted properties

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

Union files human rights complaint over Chilliwack school trustee’s LGBTQ comments

Board and trustee Barry Neufeld facing $50,000 tribunal charge over alleged ‘unsafe work environment’

Find Your Fit tour comes to Agassiz

Gives students hands-on experience with career-planning tools

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Most Read