The majority of health care workers in B.C. have been without a contract since March 31, 2014, but that could change as soon as next week.

The multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) representing 47,000 health care workers–including 550 in the Cowichan Valley– has reached a tentative settlement with B.C.’s health employers.

It’s believed the settlement will include a 5.5 per cent in general wage increases over the life of the agreement, limits contracting out, expands employment options and protects benefits.

FAB is recommending members ratify the agreement. Details of the will be distributed to union members next week.

The collective agreement includes workers in hospitals, residential care facilities, emergency health services, and logistics and supply operations at Cowichan District Hospital, Chemainus Health Care Centre, Cairnsmore and Cowichan Lodge

The five-year agreement was reached with the assistance of mediator Vince Ready.