Hospital workers approve new collective agreement

Hospital workers approve new collective agreement Yukon's hospital workers have voted to ratify their new contract with the Yukon Hospital Corporation. The vote happened May 14. The new contract lasts until Aug.

Yukon’s hospital workers have voted to ratify their new contract with the Yukon Hospital Corporation.

The vote happened May 14. The new contract lasts until Aug. 31, 2017.

It impacts about 250 people – almost all the staff at the Yukon’s three hospitals, excluding doctors and registered nurses.

In early April workers voted to strike if necessary after talks stalled. But the two sides got back together and worked out a deal.

The major stumbling block had to do with the pension system and how decisions are made, the union said.

Both sides have agreed to have better communication when it comes to pension issues.

“The big thing that we were upset about is the changes that they’ve made in the past,” said Yukon Employees Union president Steve Geick.

“Although we have two people sitting on a pension committee giving input, it goes to the board and the board does what it wants, basically, and we’re not given very much notice.”

Under the new deal, the corporation is required to give advanced notice of any proposed changes and the union will be able to make a presentation.

The final say still belongs to the board, but this way the union will have more of a chance to make its opinions known, Geick said.

Under the new contract, the board has agreed to keep the pension as a defined benefit plan for at least the duration of the contract. That means pensions will continue to grow at a guaranteed rate, rather than based on investment returns.

It also includes a pay hike of 4.75 per cent over three years.

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