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Members of the B.C. Health Services Division of CUPE, the Hospital Employees Union, are now voting on a tentative settlement covering 44,000 caregivers working in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The settlement negotiated by a multi-union bargaining association is the first ever reached without third party intervention since master bargaining began in health care more than three decades ago.

The settlement reached June 6th addresses key issues of concern for the workers, such as workplace safety and improvements for disabled workers on long-term disability.

Other highlights of the tentative agreement include a three year deal with pay equity adjustments of one per cent each year, a two per cent wage increase in year three, as well as improvements in health and dental benefits.

The unions also won new contract language that will help workers fight health care privatization through strengthened contracting in arrangements.

The unions are recommending acceptance of the new contract. Ratification votes should be complete within a month.

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