Contracts quell potential union unrest in West Kootenay

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital and B.C. Hydro settle issues with union

The potentials storms of labour unrest in B.C. have been quelled with two separate union contracts finding approval.

Late last week health care workers from 11 unions in the province voted 91 per cent in favour of a two-year contract.

They include assistants in X-ray departments and pharmacies, trades and maintenance staff and administrative workers in various settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities and health authority offices.

In early December brief job action by hospital pharmacists and medical imaging technicians impacted patient services at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.

The contract gives the 46,000 employees a three-per-cent wage hike and ensures a moratorium on layoffs due to contracting out until March 2014, when the deal expires.

Two weeks ago members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, local 378 (COPE 378) employed at BC Hydro voted to ratify their tentative collective agreement.

The agreement contains an overall four per cent wage lift, staggered throughout the two years of the collective agreement. The agreement affects three Trail-based B.C. Hydro employees and 12 in Castlegar. Trail service is covered by FortisBC.

The agreement contains an overall four per cent wage lift, staggered throughout the two years of the collective agreement. The collective agreement covers April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2014.