Since the resumption of negotiations at the end of September, the HSPBA Bargaining Committee has been working to advance measures to address recruitment, retention, shortage, and workload issues which drive so many of the serious problems affecting the public health care system, the people who depend on it, and the professionals who keep it running.
The employers remain resistant to covering the final distance to agreement on these matters. However, we are pleased to report progress on initiatives addressing Truth and Reconciliation, improving the working lives of Indigenous members, and promoting cultural safety for all specialized health professionals. The discussions are also addressing general safety and wellness concerns.
As an important objective, the Bargaining Committee has also proposed improvements to union representation in the workplaces – by adding more paid stewards.
Cost of living issues remains a central focus of the HSPBA’s Bargaining Committee’s efforts. Recently, two agreements, led by negotiators at the Hospital Employees Union and the BC General Employees Union, were accepted in ratification votes by their respective members. While not achieving the level of gains initially sought, each goes much further towards addressing concerns with inflation than any agreement has in over two decades and gives some sense of current discussions on wage increases.
As negotiations proceed through the critical phase of the next few weeks, ensuring all members receive these email updates is vital. Please ask fellow members if they are receiving these updates and encourage them to update their contact information with your Local.