Comox Valley Record

Tentative agreement would affect more than 46,000 B.C. health workers

A tentative two-year agreement has been reached that, if ratified, would affect more than 46,000 health-care workers in more than 270 different jobs.

The tentative deal was struck with the Facilities Bargaining Association under government's Co-operative Gains Mandate, Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid announced Monday.

Affected workers are in nursing, ambulance service, health records, trades, maintenance, housekeeping, payroll and other positions. Almost 1,000 of the Hospital Employee Union members work in the Comox Valley.

"By focusing on topics of common interest we have been able to reach an agreement that supports our valued front-line health-care workers, reflects our economic circumstances, and continues to put patient care first," said MacDiarmid.

The two-year agreement provides for modest improvements to compensation, totalling three per cent over the life of the agreement, as well as job security provisions for workers. Under co-operative gains, employees will now have eligible drugs covered under PharmaCare, maintaining benefit coverage while contributing to savings.

"With this tentative agreement, more than one-third of unionized public-sector workers are covered by agreements reached under the Co-operative Gains Mandate," said Finance Minister Michael de Jong. "It provides for modest improvements without adding costs for taxpayers and without sacrificing services to British Columbians."

Additional details of the agreement will be available upon ratification by unions.

The Co-operative Gains Mandate  gives public-sector employers the flexibility to find savings from existing budgets to fund modest wage increases in a way that does not add pressure to the government's bottom line, does not add costs for taxpayers or ratepayers, and does not sacrifice services to British Columbians.

— Ministry of Health

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