British Columbia’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. The bargaining unit representing care aides, lab assistants and cleaning staff has reached a new labour agreement with health employers in B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

B.C. care aides, lab assistants, health facility cleaners reach new labour deal

Hospital Employees’ Union represents about 93 per cent of the workers covered by the agreement

Unions representing care aides, lab assistants and cleaning staff have reached a new labour agreement with health employers in B.C.

The B.C. government says in a statement the Facilities Bargaining Association, which represents about 60,000 people delivering health services throughout the province, has ratified a new contract.

It says the nine-union association is led by the Hospital Employees’ Union, which represents about 93 per cent of the health workers covered by the agreement.

Other workers in the unit include health records clerks, dietary staff, nursing unit assistants and trade and maintenance workers.

The new three-year contract will see wages increase by 3.24 per cent in the first year, 5.5 per cent in the second and two per cent in the third.

Additionally, the first year will see a flat 25-cent hourly pay increase and the next two years could see cost-of-living adjustments to a maximum 6.75 per cent and three per cent, respectively.

Other parts of the deal include advancing anti-racism initiatives with an Indigenous focus, preserving flexibility and working together on recruitment and retention strategies.

“These negotiations are focused on providing a fair and reasonable offer to public-sector workers that includes significant inflation protection, while ensuring that government has the resources to continue to invest in building a stronger province for everyone,” the government says in a statement.

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