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Health care workers at the Good Samaritan Society’s Christenson Village, a seniors’ residential facility in Gibsons, are now members of the Hospital Employees’ Union after voting in favour of joining the union on August 4.

The 117 new members include licensed practical nurses; care aides; an occupational therapist; maintenance, clerical and laundry staff; housekeepers; and food services workers.

Acting secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic says that the Good Samaritan employees reflect the growing number of health care staff working for private companies or not-for-profit organizations that are joining HEU.

We are pleased that the Good Samaritan workers at Christenson Village are part of our union and look forward to meeting with them soon to discuss their workplace concerns and to have them elect a bargaining committee,” says Bosancic.

The bargaining committee will help develop bargaining proposals based on these concerns, and then take the proposals into negotiations with the employer for a first collective agreement.”

The not-for-profit Good Samaritan Society owns and operates 16 seniors’ facilities in Canada, the majority of which are in Alberta. Christenson Village is a 140-bed seniors’ residential complex that provides assisted living and multi-level care beds. Their other B.C. facilities are located in Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm and Vernon.