December 9, 2014
Expedited hearing dates to begin in 2015 for health science professionals
BURNABY – The process to deal with more than 1,500 grievances filed by health science professionals will kick into gear early in 2015, with expedited hearing dates to address implementation of the 37.5 work week. CUPE health science professionals have initiated 133 of those grievances.
Due to the heavy-handed 2013 interpretation of how the 37.5-hour work week should occur, CUPE members have seen significant impacts on their work and schedules, as well as on the delivery of services to patients and clients, resulting in widespread frustration, confusion, and concern. On March 10-12 this year, the parties took the matters before arbitrators Vince Ready and Corrin Bell. On April 7, the HSPBA constituent unions received the arbitrators’ awards(view Part A, view Part B).
Transition to the 37.5-hour-work-week continues to be a colossal task as we continue to attempt resolution of more than 1,000 grievances (including 125 original CUPE grievances) across all health authorities.
“The arbitrators’ awards were substantive, as they validated members’ concerns,” said CUPE BC health science professionals coordinator Troy Clifford. “The number and scope of the grievances, and the magnitude of the process and timelines, point to how disruptive and upsetting the whole process has been for our members.”
The original award outlined a process to review and attempt to resolve grievances moving forward. On October 29, a subsequent clarification award was announced. On December 3, CUPE in conjunction with HSA went before arbitrators Bell and Ready in a case management hearing specific to issues involving VCH and CUPE 15 grievances. Mediation/arbitration dates have been set to deal with overarching issues at the BC Cancer Agency in PHSA (June 11) and VCHA (June 12).
Including the June dates, the parties have agreed that expedited hearings will be held in 2015 to address any outstanding grievances. Sixteen dates have been set through the end of 2015 for expedited hearings,as outlined in the awards of April 2014.
CUPE represents 725 members under the HSPBA represented in CUPE Locals 15, 1978 and 4816. The Health Sciences Association is the lead union in the 17,000-member bargaining association. Other unions in the bargaining group are HEU, BCGEU and PEA.