Members of the multi-union Community Health Bargaining Association voted 78.7 per cent in favour of a new collective agreement this week.
The five-year deal with the Health Employers' Association of BC (HEABC) expires on March 31, 2019 and covers more than 15,000 workers in community health jobs across the province. Approximately 1,000 of those workers are CUPE members.
The deal provides a wage increase of 5.5 percent over the term of the agreement with the possibility of additional wage increases under the economic stability dividend. The agreement also includes wage comparability adjustments totaling two per cent over three years for members with occupations similar to those covered by the facilities subsector agreement.
CUPE BC Community Health coordinator Troy Clifford called the agreement "a small but vital step forward in the ongoing struggle for respect and recognition of the work that our members do in community health. These negotiations are crucial because they not only determine how well our members are treated on the job but also how well we are able to look after and protect our most vulnerable citizens."
The ratified agreement also includes improvements to health and welfare benefits, the retention of current employment security levels and protection against contracting out.
The CBA represents community health workers in workers unions across the province, including BCGEU, UFCW, HAS and the HEU as well as CUPE.