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Tough talks between health unions and government continue Wednesday in an ongoing effort to find alternatives to contracting out and privatization initiatives that could see hospitals and long-term care facilities lose up to 13,600 FTEs over the next three years.

“Discussions will explore all possibilities and will involve tough decisions as we work to find solutions to save jobs and protect health care,” says Chris Allnutt, secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) and spokesperson for the multi-union facilities subsector bargaining association.

“We’re asking members to stay in touch and keep up-to-date as talks continue.” Allnutt emphasizes that the terms of any settlement will go to a ratification vote of union members.

HEU, the BCGEU and IUOE are representing the facilities subsector unions in talks with government and health employers that began late last week.

On March 31, health unions extended a good faith offer to health employers to hold off on 4.4 per cent in wage and pay equity increases due April 1 in return for a freeze on all contracting out and privatization initiatives pending the outcome of talks.

HEU members are encouraged to stay in touch with their local executive and to monitor the union’s web site and telephone hotlines to keep up with developments.

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