Latest on pay, job security from community health employers -pretty underwhelming"

It took them three days to respond, but in bargaining Monday evening the Health Employers Association of B.C. finally tabled counter offers on the key union priorities of wages and job security.

Lori Horvat, an HSA representative on the Community Bargaining Association bargaining committee, said the employer tabled a job security package that they admitted they couldnt deliver on.

And on the pay front, HEABC offered only a couple of minor changes—one per cent comparability in year four and $150 boost in the bonus—on top of its earlier wage offer of 1.5, 2, 2 and 2 per cent in a four year deal.

Horvat notes the wage offer doesnt even keep pace with inflation.

-Negotiations have really been hard slogging," she says. -The problem is that employers are heading in the wrong direction—but well keep hammering away at achieving an agreement."

Horvat added one of the proposals made by the employers is to weaken bumping language negotiated in 2004.

-In 2004, the unions managed to claw our way back from the Bill 29 language. The current proposal flies in the face of what was achieved just two years ago," she said.

After the face-to-face session with employers late in the day March 13, the multi-union bargaining association was preparing a response on employment security, a fair pay increase and Article 15 scheduling to deliver to employers when talks resume Tuesday.

HSA represents 600 members in the community health sector. Other member unions in the bargaining association are: BCGEU, UFCW 1518, HEU CUPE and PEA. Other smaller unions involved in the sector are represented in the talks by CAW.

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