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B.C. and health care unions settle 6-year dispute

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Cat Lady
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B.C. and health care unions settle 6-year dispute

Postby Cat Lady » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:37 pm

A coalition of of health care unions has won an $85 million victory in a six-year-old dispute with the provincial government over the B.C. Liberal's controversial Bill 29

In 2002, the Liberal government inflamed unions by passing the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, known as Bill 29, which allowed the province to tear up the B.C. Hospital Employees' Union contract and led to the layoff of more than 8,000 unionized health-care workers.

The unions fought back in the courts, and on June 8, 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the collective bargaining process was protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that parts of the controversial bill were unconstitutional. It gave the government one year to negotiate a settlement with the unions.

On Monday morning, the provincial government and the Health Employers Association of BC announced they signed four tentative settlement agreements with the Community Bargaining Association, the Facilities Bargaining Association, the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association and the Nurses' Bargaining Association.

Judy Darcy, who led the negotiating team for the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association over the last four months, called the agreement "a milestone for health care workers." The FBA represents about 40,000 nursing assistants, practical nurses, food service workers, lab assistants, skilled trades, IT workers and others and was the unit most affected by Bill 29.

"Our members have been struggling for six long years to regain rights that were stripped away by the B.C. legislature," said Darcy in a written statement.

"This agreement delivers long overdue justice to those whose rights were trampled by Bill 29. As a result of this agreement and the court's ruling, our members can once again freely negotiate on fundamental issues like contracting out and consultation," she said.

As part of the deal, the provincial government will spend $85 million on retraining, clinical upgrading and professional development for employees affected by Bill 29. The largest allocation will go to the FBA.

"British Columbians have called for greater consultation and collaboration amongst the parties involved in health-care delivery, as highlighted by the Supreme Court decision last year," said provincial Health Minister George Abbott in a written statement released Monday.

"These agreements provide for ongoing input and discussion to take place between the government and the four bargaining associations in ways that respect the interests of all parties," said Abbott

"B.C.'s health employers retain the option to contract out certain services," said Louise Simard, president and CEO of the Health Employers Association. "This allows employers the necessary flexibility in the delivery of health-care services to provide quality care for patients."

Link:
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columb ... ached.html


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Re: B.C. and health care unions settle 6-year dispute

Postby Cat Lady » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:50 pm

In 2002, the Liberal government inflamed unions by passing the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, known as Bill 29, which allowed the province to tear up the B.C. Hospital Employees' Union contract and led to the layoff of more than 8,000 unionized health-care workers.
Health Service Personnel are classified as "Essential Service." They are not allowed to strike, but they can be laid off.



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Postby green1 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:02 pm

Health Service Personnel are classified as "Essential Service." They are not allowed to strike, but they can be laid off.
incorrect, many health services personnel ARE allowed to strike and are NOT considered essential

are you aware that in Alberta ambulances are NOT considered essential services and as such paramedics CAN strike? (we came very close to that in Calgary a few months ago)

many health care aides, and even nurses are also allowed to legally strike.

the public outcry over such action is however usually enough to force the parties to resolve their differences before it gets to that.



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Postby Cat Lady » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:29 pm

[quote="green1]nurses are also allowed to legally strike.[/quote]

Not in any province that I know of. In Alberta it was the Ralph Klien gov't that laid off the nurses. Killed the nursing program at Mount Royal College and now they wonder why there are not enough nurses.

Ralph's plan was to break the health care system so he could appease his buddies lobbying for private care clinics and hospitals.



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Postby green1 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:43 pm

many nurses are able to strike, only some of them are classified as essential (hence the word "many" that you left out of my quote)



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Postby Cat Lady » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:13 pm

Yes, they may strike, but it's illegal.

I think it was two years ago that the nurses in New Brunswick had a novel idea to their inability to strike.

They informed their employer that there would be a mass resignation on a certain date. So far it's not illegal to quit your job.



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Postby green1 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:16 pm

I think you still missed the word "many" in there, because for many nurses it is perfectly legal to strike.




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