Strike looms for hospitals' dietery, housekeeping staff in British Columbia

About 75 Cowichan health-care workers are in a strike position as negotiations drag with employee Compass Group

By Healthcare Facilities Today
October 9, 2013

Peter W. Rusland

The union for about 75 Cowichan health-care workers say they are in a strike position as negotiations drag with employee Compass Group, according to an article in the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial.

That 98% strike mandate by Health Employees' Union was tallied during a vote by island and mainland members, Health Employees' Union's Neil Monckton said in the article. Any action would affect workers at Cowichan District Hospital facilities, including several members at Cairnsmore Lodge, he told the News Leader Pictorial.

The crux of the talks surrounds wage parity for Compass' HEU workers with an uplift of about  $1 hourly recently reached between HEU members and firms Sodexo and Aramark. Island HEU members doing dietary and housekeeping work earn about $14.75 an hour, but the living wage is about $18 to $19 for a family of four, said Monckton.

Sodexo (France) and Aramark (U.S.) have settled with HEU workers on the mainland. 

Compass agents were unavailable for comment by press time while HEU and the employers continued talks about essential-service levels.

In the article, Monckton noted the HEU workers were part of some 8,000 fired about 10 years ago during B.C.'s health-care privatization programs.

"Some were hired back at about half their wage level; they're still below what they were 10 years ago."

Read the article.








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