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CBA Bargaining Update: Employer frustrating efforts to address recruitment and retention, pay gap

Bargaining committee members, along with the committee members from other unions, have been bargaining for the last three weeks. Discussions are now on hold while we look at scheduling new dates, and we anticipate talks will resume in late October or early November.
 
Since our last update, the employer has continued to resist most of the non-monetary language changes that would create greater certainty, and a greater say for workers about their working conditions. It is our belief that these are critical components of addressing recruitment and retention outside of the clear economic differences between health care workers in the community, and our counterparts in facilities.
 
It is a struggle to make progress, and frustrating that the employer has not come to the table with ideas of their own to address the recruitment and retention crisis.
 
With regards to monetary proposals, we are still significantly apart. Our goal in this round of bargaining is to see meaningful progress in closing the gap with other health agreements when it comes to overall wages, premiums and vacation. The offer as it stands today still does not adequately address this gap.
 
Although there are proposals that would close the gap at step four with facilities, a good portion of that money is at the expense of additional monies offered at virtually every other provincial bargaining table. In other words, they will make up some of the gap, but they expect members to pay for some of it by moving money from other parts of the agreement.
 
Finally, there is a real danger that due to structural underfinancing of the Joint Community Benefit Trust, benefits for workers in community health will be reduced on January 1, 2023. We are absolutely committed to stopping this, but at this time there is no offer of additional monies from the province at the bargaining table to avoid this.
 
We have made some progress on meaningful non-monetary items – but it isn’t enough – and we will continue to demand progress towards closing the gap when bargaining resumes.

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