Legal News

BC Government Legislates End to Health Care Dispute, Renews Support Workers' Collective Agreement

On April 28, 2004, the BC Government introduced Bill 37 – the Health Sector (Facilities Subsector) Collective Agreement Act (the “Act“). The Act was passed and received Royal Assent on April 29, 2004.

The Act was introduced to end the labour dispute between the Facilities Bargaining Association, representing support workers employed in health care facilities in British Columbia, and the Health Employers Association of BC representing health care employers. Under the Act, the Collective Agreement between the parties is continued for two years and will expire March 31, 2006.

The Act also amends the Facilities Subsector Collective Agreement as follows:

  • effective 90 days after the Act comes into force, the work week will be increased from 36 hours per week to 37.5 hours per week;
  • the Association has 14 days to elect either a wage reduction of 11% or the appointment of an arbitrator to implement a 10% reduction in overall compensation. Regardless of the option chosen, the reduction will be retroactive to April 1, 2004;
  • where a temporary vacancy is filled by a qualified regular employee, the resulting regular vacancy may be filled by a casual employee;
  • overtime premiums will not apply where operational requirements necessitate a temporary change in start or stop time of up to two hours, provided there is no change in shift duration;
  • bumping options for displaced employees will be set out in a regulation to be made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.