The Hospital Employees Union is waiting for the results of a strike vote. (Google Maps image)

Strike votes results will determine next steps for Hospital Employees Union

About 4,000 hospital workers seek higher wages, better working conditions

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

The Hospital Employees Union (HEU) will determine what action it takes following the release of the results of a strike vote on Monday, June 26.

Jennifer Whiteside, secretary business manager for HEU in B.C., said they have been at the bargaining table working on a new contract for more than a year on behalf of about 4,000 contracted support workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities who provide housekeeping and food services. Voting took place between June 12 and 23.

“It’s down to the issues workers feel strongly about, decent working conditions and job security,” Whiteside said. The workers, who are employed by private contractors, earn considerably less than those doing the same work that are paid by health authorities, she noted.

A strong mandate through this strike vote will send a strong message to employers that the members are serious about these issues, Whiteside added.

“We expect to see that reflected at the bargaining table,” Whiteside said. “We will consider our next steps after the vote totals are released.”

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com