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Health care talks back on track

BURNABY, B.C. - Talks between the group representing 47,000 unionized health-care workers in B.C. and their employers will resume Thursday with the help of mediator Vince Ready.

Members of the 11-union Facilities Bargaining Association have been without a contract since March 31, and last week the association received a 96 per cent strike mandate.

Unionized workers and the Health Employers Association of B.C. remain divided at the bargaining table over issues like job security, protection of benefits, health and safety, and changes to the ambulance service.

Mike Old of the Hospital Employees Union says the strike vote helped get negotiations back on track.

He says both sides agreed to call in Ready, and his members will go into the talks with an open mind, hopeful that they can secure a negotiated agreement.

The Facilities Bargaining Association is the largest bargaining unit in B.C.'s public sector and represents workers in hospitals, residential-care facilities, emergency health services, logistics and supply operations. (The Canadian Press, CHNL)

The Canadian Press

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