Some of the community health workers employed by Bayshore Home Support are the newest members of UFCW 1518 after the provincial NDP government repatriated most of the private home care services in British Columbia. Announced last spring, the decision to bring home care in-house will reduce the uncertainty caused by private contract work and improve the standard of service.
About 70 community health workers will join the union as part of the Health Services and Support Community Subsector bargaining unit of Simon Fraser Home Support in the Fraser Health Authority. “We are pleased to welcome our newest members into our union,” said President Kim Novak. “We look forward to meeting them and working closely with them to continue to improve health and safety for our members as well as quality of care for our province’s most vulnerable.”
Transferred employees will maintain their pre-transfer status: regular or casual status at the date of hire. Employees who have completed their probationary or qualifying period will not be required to serve a new probationary or qualifying period at the time of transfer as long as they are working in a position that had the same job duties and qualifications as before. Employees who have not completed their probationary or qualification period will be credited with the pre-transfer hours.
Employees transferring will have the following entitlements recognized by the health authorities:
- Years of continuous service – for the purpose of vacation entitlement date
- Wage increment step and hours – including wage protection
- Seniority hours
- Sick leave credits at the time of transfer
- Special leave credits at the time of transfer
Regular employees receiving benefits pre-transfer will maintain benefit coverage according to the Joint Community Benefit Trust requirements. The receiving health authority will negotiate with the carrier to minimize disruption of the coverage and negotiate with the carrier to waive the waiting period for health and welfare benefits. Transferring employees who are currently enrolled in the Municipal Pension Plan will automatically be enrolled and the employees not currently enrolled in the MPP will be enrolled. Employees are not permitted to hold multiple regular positions within the same certification that exceed 1.0 FTE.
To assist new members with the transition, the employer held information sessions with the union in attendance and on October 3, UFCW 1518 hosted a meet and greet to welcome our new members. “We are proud to be represent these community health workers, whose work is so often undervalued, but who in fact perform an exceedingly valuable service in our communities,” President Novak said. She added her thanks to the British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union for their support during the transition.
UFCW 1518 will host another meet and greet for new Bayshore members in the new year.