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Health unions want BCs hospital association to back up claims they cant put privatization and layoffs on hold during contract talks.

Contract talks for 43,000 hospital and long-term care workers have stalled because the Health Employers Association of BC claims its powerless to suspend layoff notices or privatization contracts.

Hospital Employees Union spokesperson Chris Allnutt says the unions want proof.

They havent produced a shred of evidence to show that they cant suspend notice periods for those facing layoff or put current privatization discussions on hold while talks take place, Allnutt says.

The unions have asked newly-appointed mediator Stephen Rinfret to get employers to agree to the moratorium.

Meanwhile, the BC Labour Board will hear a request from Sodexho, Aramark and Compass for unimpeded access to health care facilities during a strike or lockout.