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BURNABYCUPE Community health workers have soundly rejected a tentative agreement that could result in reducing their wages, equity payments and vacations as well as deferring enrolment in the Municipal Pension Plan for some CUPE members.

CUPE community health members told their representatives at the onset of bargaining no concessions. 97.7% have said No, said Cheryl Colborne, member of the CUPE bargaining committee.

Our members have indicated that the cost for small amount of job security offered in complex memoranda of agreements is just too much, said Colborne.

Barry ONeill, President of CUPE B.C., debunks the accusation that his or other union members are looking for jobs for life. No CUPE member expects to have a job for life, said ONeill. If that was the case we wouldnt have built strong collective agreements that deal with layoff procedures. We fight layoffs when they represent cuts to the services we provide to the public.

Municipal Governments once funded the services performed by Community Health workers who are CUPE members. As CUPE members these workers are used to fighting for adequate levels in the community public health services they provide.

ONeill says attempts to contract out work are not new to the public sector. CUPE members have been waging battles against privatizing our work for decades, he said. Misinformed governments continue to push public services out to private, for-profit companies. Whether community health is delivered within the municipal sector or under the auspices of provincial health employers CUPE members will continue to reject attempts to privatize their work.

CUPE members don’t apologize for the wages or benefits they earn, said ONeill. There is a long-held view in the labour movement that what we desire for ourselvesrespect in the workplace, decent wages, benefits and working conditionswe desire for all workers.

Barry ONeill along with the Presidents of the CUPE Community Health locals are leading the chorus of CUPE members who are calling on the Community Health Sub sector

Bargaining Association to go back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair and equitable agreement that recognizes and respects their work and the work of their colleagues who are members of BCGEU, UFCWU, HSA, HEU, PEA, CAW.


Barry ONeill 604-916-8444 or Diane Jolly (c) 604-317-6071