Musqueam Territory – Vancouver, British Columbia – Yesterday, representatives from the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) celebrated the ratification of their collective agreements after two years of negotiations. These agreements were reached on March 27, 2015 and May 28, 2015, respectively, and mark a historic milestone for the three parties as the first collective agreements of their kind in Canada.
“This is a significant success for our young organization, and completes a part of our shared journey that started over two years ago. We are particularly proud of the introduction of First Nations philosophies and culture into the collective bargaining process,” said Joe Gallagher, CEO of the FNHA. “I commend everyone involved for their openness and commitment as we forge a productive working partnership.”
In keeping with the FNHA’s approach and wellness philosophy based on First Nations teachings, the new collective agreements and their negotiations incorporated unprecedented inclusion of First Nations perspectives, values and sensibilities within their terms.
“I want to thank the bargaining team for their hard work and the members for their unwavering support during this unique round of bargaining.” said Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Executive Vice President for BC. “Members should be proud of their solidarity and hard work and can look forward to a contract that enhances working conditions and recognizes First Nations culture and heritage.”
The three parties—with guidance from FNHA Elder Advisor Leonard George—successfully integrated traditional approaches to conflict management and resolution into the new collective agreements.
“We are proud to be a part of this historic agreement between our members and the First Nations Health Authority,” said PIPSC President Debi Daviau. “Our bargaining team worked hard to represent the interests of our members while recognizing the needs of this new organization and its First Nations-based approach. It is historic not only as the first such agreement but also in the way it was achieved. Everyone involved is to be congratulated. As professionals, we strongly endorse and support the terms and conditions of this agreement and the historic objectives they serve: good jobs in healthy communities.”
The terms of the Collective Agreements are from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017.