Pine Acres, BCGEU return to bargaining table Wednesday
Members of the B.C. Government Employee’s Union have returned to work after owners of the Pine Acres care facility in Kelowna lifed a lockout last week.
The employer, Westbank First Nation, ended a 10-day lockout at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 12.
The decision primarily affected staff members in laundry, housekeeping, kitchen, dietary, recreation and reception.
The two sides are scheduled to recommence bargaining for two days, starting Wednesday (July 18).
“We remain optimistic a collective agreement can be reached,” said BCGEU President Darryl Walker on the union’s webpage.
“We hope the employer comes to the table ready to have fruitful discussions.”
Walker also said there was a lot of solidarity among BCGEU members on the picket line.
The union wants to thank the community for its strong support, which included delivering food and water to the locked out workers.
In earlier talks, the employer demanded sweeping concessions, including a two-tier wage structure for new employees; $4/hour wage cut; and drastic cuts to vacation, sick leave, and benefits.
Workers at Pine Acres are now entering their fourth year without a wage increase and deserve improved conditions.
The union’s proposals have been reasonable and the union continues to be prepared to negotiate an agreement.