The Hospital Employees Union and the Skidegate Band have reached a new agreement for members working at the Skidegate Health Centre, Heather Ramsay writes.
Kathy Jessome, the union’s bargaining spokesperson, says it’s good news for both sides of the table in Skidegate.
“We had conversation as opposed to confrontation,” she says.
The workers’ wages are comparable with other health care workers in the province, although Ms Jessome says there’s still work to be done on bettering the benefit package.
She compares this cooperative relationship with the past three arbitrated settlements – which had to be referred to Canada’s Labour Relations Board and independent arbitrators.
“It’s also a positive labour relations model that shows what can be achieved when both parties are willing to sit down together and work toward a fair, respectful settlement – without the need for outside arbitration or disruptive job action, ” she says.
Under the three-year contract, wages will rise by two percent in 2006, 2007, and 2008. And while there are no major changes to the terms of the agreement, the Skidegate Band Council and the union will work together in the coming weeks and months to address outstanding communication issues in the workplace.
Work performed by the 20 members of HEU’s Xaaynangaa Local combines traditional and modern methods of care to meet the holistic health needs of Haida Nation members.
The HEU is also negotiating a province-wide agreement for 38,000 hospital employees and long-term care workers.
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