Update on contract talks for B.C.’s health science professionals

BURNABY—Bargaining for a new collective agreement covering B.C.’s 18,000 health science professionals working in hospitals and communities around the province concluded its second week on Friday after a series of meetings between unions, represented by the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA), and employers represented by the Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC).

The current collective agreement, which came into effect in April 2014 and continues to March 31, 2019, was ambitious in directing the union and employer bargaining associations to develop a modernized classification system, protect benefits, and address issues of recruitment and retention. The work on those areas has been continuous throughout the life of the agreement. The HSPBA welcomes recent Ministry of Health initiatives and policies focused on strengthening the delivery of patient care within a strong publicly funded health care system.

The unions’ proposals are aimed at securing contract improvements that promote job satisfaction and security, support the Ministry of Health’s efforts to address shortages, and promote stability and continuity in the healthcare workforce.  Proposals discussed to date are related to classifications, benefits, and improvements to the Enhanced Disability Management Program and accommodation process. Talks on these issues, and on addressing workload challenges, are scheduled to continue for the next two weeks.

HSPBA represents 18,000 union members, the majority of whom are represented by the Health Sciences Association. As well as CUPE, which has 800 members in the sector, other unions at represented at the bargaining table are BCGEU, PEA, and HEU. The current collective agreement expires in March 2019.

For regular bargaining updates, check CUPE’s Community Health website, or follow us on our Facebook page.

It’s important for CUPE to be able to contact you.  Please make sure your contact information is current. Visiting the Community Health website, contact your local to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date.

CUPE’s member representatives to the HSPBA bargaining committee are:

  • Chief negotiator: Chris Losito, CUPE National Representative and Health Coordinator – BC Region.

Bargaining Committee members:

  • Jennifer Kassimatis, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Vancouver.
  • Sheri Moy, Licensing Officer, Burnaby.
  • Michael McKinley, Environmental Health Officer, Victoria (alternate committee member).