December 2, 2012
VANCOUVER-As health science professionals return to the bargaining table today, plans to begin rotating strikes have been delayed one day to demonstrate good faith in the bargaining process. Talks between the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association and Health Employers Association of BC are scheduled to continue through the week.
With the change, the rotating strikes will begin Thursday, December 6. That day, pharmacy services at BC hospitals will be reduced to essential service levels only from 9 a.m. to midnight.
There will be no picket lines.
“Pharmacists are especially frustrated with the lack of progress at the bargaining table. This is the group of highly trained and specialized members of the health care team who government targeted for a 15 percent wage cut earlier this year – even as recruitment and retention continues to be a growing problem as the retail sector pays more competitive wages,” said CUPE National Representative, Justin Schmid.
The second group of health science professionals scheduled to take job action are all public health inspectors and licensing officers.
They will reduce their work to essential services only from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday. Medical imaging technologists will also reduce services to essential service levels that day.
“After eight months of negotiations health science professionals still don’t have a collective agreement. While the government has backed off on the wage rollback we still have not seen any type of wage offer. Health science professionals continue to fall behind while other members of the professional health care team continue to receive wage increases. Our members say it’s time their contribution to the modern health care team is recognized,” said Schmid.
CUPE health members are encouraged to visit www.modernhealthcare.orgto send a letter to the minister of health and others decision makers encouraging a concerted effort at negotiating a fair and reasonable contract.
CUPE represents over 500 members in the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA). HSA is the lead union in the 17,000 member bargaining association. Other unions in the bargaining association are BCGEU, PEA, and HEU.