BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) – A majority of the 1,550 LifeLabs workers represented by the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) voted on Thursday November 4, 2021 in favour of ratifying their collective agreement with their employer after reaching a tentative agreement on October 24, 2021. The new three-year agreement is effective April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2024.
"After so many months of hard work in negotiations we are pleased to see members ratify a deal that values and respects their expertise, their contributions during the pandemic and their goal to better serve the public," said BCGEU president, Stephanie Smith. "Through their solidarity and the strength of our union, these members demanded better, and we're so pleased with the advances they made in this round of bargaining."
Highlights from the agreement include wage improvements averaging increases of 12 per cent over three years which includes a $1,250 signing bonus for all active employees to be paid out within 30 days of ratification. This represents a strong advance towards closing the wage gap with those doing similar work in the public sector and achieving the goal of winning a larger percentage increase for the lowest wage earners. Members also have an improved indexed pension plan, increases to extended health coverage, improvements to sick leave entitlement and health and safety policies as well as stronger workload language to deal with under-staffing issues.
"All workers in B.C. deserve respect and a wage that keeps pace with the high cost of living in this province, and at the end of the day that's what this dispute was about," said Smith. "I would like to thank and congratulate everyone on the bargaining committee for the long hours they put in to get this deal, and for standing as an example for all working people."
The collective agreement covers members at 94 LifeLabs locations across B.C. working as couriers, phlebotomists, technical assistants, technologist and information specialists.
For more information contact: BCGEU Communications [email protected]