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CUPE members have won a victory with the Northern Health Authority, agreeing to explore in-house alternatives to contracting out. The authority, HEU and other health unions reached a landmark agreement to work together in exploring cost-saving measures within the existing province-wide collective framework.

The move sends a strong message to public facilities tempted to look to P3s for solutions: Public services and a commitment to work collaboratively are the best answers to service needs and cost pressures.

Highlighting the importance of keeping services in public hands, the authority says contracting out is not our first choice, recognizing employees must have an important voice in making change.

In other parts of the province, including Vancouver Island where the health authority has announced that 1,000 jobs will be contracted out to Compass, HEU members have been staging protests of resistance. In Victoria and Nanaimo, members have walked off the job to draw attention to their plight.