CUPE 1004’s new CBA bargaining committee, from left: CUPE Servicing Representative Bill Pegler, Andy Healey, Tuesday Andrich, CUPE 1004 President Andrew Ledger, Alex Braidek, and Peter Hewlett. PHOTO CREDIT: BOBBI FLINT Dan Gawthrop | CUPE Communications

An agreement reached between the Portland Housing Society (PHS) Community Services Society, the Health Employers Association of BC, and CUPE 1004 has transferred approximately 600 CUPE health services and support workers at the Portland Hotel Society (PHS) from their local collective agreement to an existing contract in the community health sector.

In October, these workers’ collective agreement rights shifted to the Community Subsector Association of Bargaining Agents (CBA) contract. All wage adjustments and general increases of the CBA collective agreement, retroactive to April 2019, took effect for PHS CUPE 1004 members, ensuring wage protection or improvements in every classification.

“This melding of our contract to the CBA agreement is a major development for our local. It represents significant gains for our members at the Portland Housing Society,” said CUPE 1004 President Andrew Ledger.

The PHS runs 19 supportive housing and shelter buildings, and also operates several safe drug consumption sites in Vancouver and Victoria. These CUPE members— mental health, outreach and home support workers, medical and dental assistants, and food service workers—work on the frontline of the opioid, housing, and homelessness crises. The daily challenges of their work have been further complicated this year by COVID-19.

“This really couldn’t come at a better time, given the challenges so many of our members have been facing during the pandemic. Bringing these members into the CBA agreement shows respect for their vital contributions to frontline health care services.”

In addition to the annual two per cent general wage increases for members in the community health sector, the CBA wage grid was recently adjusted to reflect low wage redress in moving the community subsector to parity with facilities.

Photo: CUPE 1004’s new CBA bargaining committee, from left: CUPE Servicing Representative Bill Pegler, Andy Healey, Tuesday Andrich, CUPE 1004 President Andrew Ledger, Alex Braidek, and Peter Hewlett. PHOTO CREDIT: BOBBI FLINT