Jul 13, 2012 / 3:56 pm
It's back to business as usual at Pine Acres Care Home in Westbank -- at least for now.
Westbank First Nation which runs the care facility lifted its lockout at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The notice by WFN ended a 10 day lockout of BC Government Employees Union staff including laundry, housekeeping, kitchen, dietary, recreation and reception staff.
This means all resident services at the facility have been restored.
The two sides will return to the bargaining table next Wednesday, July 18.
Union officials say two days have been set aside for bargaining.
"We remain optimistic a collective agreement can be reached. We hope the employer comes to the table ready to have fruitful discussions," says BCGEU President, Darryl Walker.
He says WFN has demanded sweeping concessions including a two-tier wage structure for new employees, $4/hour wage cuts and drastic cuts to vacation, sick leave and benefits.
Workers at Pine Acres have been without a contract for more than three years.
Chief Robert Louie, speaking on behalf of WFN, stated proposed wage rates and pensions for current staff were to remain unchanged from the previous agreement.
He says only employees hired after ratification would be impacted by a proposed new rate.
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