Housekeeping and waste management services currently delivered by Compass Canada (Crothall) at North Island Hospital sites in Comox and Campbell River will be brought under the direct control of the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) starting October 1.

It’s the first contracting in of health services under provisions negotiated in the last round of Facilities bargaining early last year. The Hospital Employees’ Union represents the 150 Crothall cleaners and waste management workers at the two sites. HEU is CUPE’s BC health care services division, representing most of CUPE’s health care workers in the province, with more than 50,000 members.

HEU and VIHA are negotiating a labour adjustment plan that will ensure that all staff are seamlessly transferred from their current employer to the health authority, where they will be covered by the same collective agreement provisions as other HEU members at the North Island Hospital.

HEU Secretary-Business Manager Jennifer Whiteside welcomed the decision and thanked the health authority for their plan to bring the work in-house.

“Housekeeping staff are critical and valued members of the health care team in Comox and Campbell River,” says Whiteside.

“It’s appropriate that their work is managed and directed by the health authority, and that these workers are subject to the same collective provisions as those they work beside every day.”

VIHA plans on conducting information sessions over the next few weeks where they will outline the transition process for cleaning and waste management staff.

“This is just the beginning of a process to bring work back in house across the province,” says Whiteside.

“We represent thousands of workers in contracted support services across B.C., and every one of those workers is critical to the functioning of our health care team.

“And we will continue to make the case to repatriate these services to the direct control of health authorities. These workers deserve no less.”

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