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The BC Minister of Health received a “past due” statement at his constituency office in Vancouver on June 20. The notice was hand-delivered by CUPE members employed by the John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland, who are owed thousands of dollars in “back wages.”

Last summer, about 40 CUPE members at John Howard ratified a new collective agreement that provided pay increases retroactive to 1998.

John Howard, which is funded by provincial and federal departments, was able to pay some of its employees immediately.

But about 10 employees have only received partial payment, while another 10 haven’t received a cent. The problem rests with the Ministry of Health, which has not transferred its share of the funding increase to John Howard.

Some of the CUPE members are owed as much as $25,000 in back wages.

It’s just appalling that our members have had to wait nearly a year for payment of wages from a government department,” says CUPE representative Bob Toop.

CUPE members gave notice to the Health Minister that if his ministry fails to arrange prompt payment of this overdue bill, the matter may be turned over to a collection agency.