Today’s Poll

Health Science Union, B.C. Gov strike up tentative two-year deal

By Contributor
February 1st, 2013

A two-year tentative labour agreement has been reached with the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association.

“This agreement keeps patients needs at the forefront by ensuring service stability,” said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid.

“News of today’s tentative agreement means that we have now ratified or reached tentative agreements with all bargaining associations in the health sector.”

The tentative agreement includes wage increases totaling three per cent, and makes permanent a market adjustment of between nine and 14% over and above the basic wage rates for pharmacists.

It also achieves fairness for all members of the modern health care team by finally recognizing the work and commitment of the team of health science professionals who are there – day or night – to perform the life-saving services that keep British Columbians alive in medical emergencies.

The provisions that protect the health and safety of health science professionals in short supply who often work on call, and fairly compensate those who work extraordinary shifts to deliver critical services, are a long-fought for recognition of contribution of these members of the modern health care team.

“In yet another very difficult bargaining climate, our priority was to achieve fair and reasonable wages for our members, and to continue to provide the quality health care services British Columbians rely on,” said HSA President Reid Johnson.

“While it has been a very rocky ride, including three days of rotating strikes in December, we have reached some significant achievements for our members. Our bargaining committee has worked hard to make important improvements for members that will result in improvements to the system,” he said.

If ratified by health employers and members of the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association, the agreement would be effective from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2014.

The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association represents more than 16,000 front-line health workers in more than 100 different specialized disciplines that provide diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation services.

The diverse membership ranges from medical laboratory technologists to physiotherapists to social workers.

The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association covers several unions including the Health Sciences Association, BCGEU, CUPE, PEA and HEU.

Additional details of the agreement will be available upon ratification by the unions.

“This agreement shows that when employers and unions work co-operatively together agreements can be reached,” said Finance Minister Michael de Jong.

“Well over half of the people working in B.C.’s public sector now have tentative or ratified agreements settled under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate.”

The tentative agreement was reached under the B.C. government’s 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate.

The 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate applies to all public-sector employers whose collective agreements expire on or after Dec. 31, 2011.

The mandate gives public sector employers the flexibility to find savings from existing budgets to fund modest wage increases in a way that does not add pressure to the government’s bottom line, does not add costs for taxpayers or ratepayers, and does not sacrifice services to British Columbians.

Categories: BusinessPolitics

Other News Stories