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NEWS RELEASE · 15th January 2013
Ministry of Health
A tentative two-year agreement has been reached with health-care employees in the community health sector, Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid announced today.

"I am very pleased that the parties were able to return to the bargaining table and work together to reach an agreement," said MacDiarmid.

"Today's agreement will benefit both patients and front-line health-care workers. With only one outstanding agreement left in the health sector, we are hopeful that soon there will be settlements with all five bargaining associations under the 2012 mandate."

The two-year agreement provides for modest wage increases offset by savings found within the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate.

Community health employees include home-support workers who help the elderly in their own homes, alcohol and drug counsellors, staff at adult day centres as well as child development centres and those working in mental-health group homes. Many people working in community health are employed by contracted agencies, while some work for health authorities.

"More than half of the people working in B.C.'s public sector now have tentative or ratified agreements settled under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate, representing about one-third of all agreements," said Finance Minister Michael de Jong. "I encourage employers and unions across the public sector to continue negotiating, because agreements can be reached."

Additional details of the agreement will be available upon ratification by the unions.

The tentative agreement was reached under the B.C. government's 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate. The 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate applies to all public-sector employers whose collective agreements expire on or after Dec. 31, 2011.

The mandate gives public sector employers the flexibility to find savings from existing budgets to fund modest wage increases in a way that does not add pressure to the government's bottom line, does not add costs for taxpayers or ratepayers, and does not sacrifice services to British Columbians.