Your voice matters! The CUPE Health Sector Bargaining Survey is now open

Hello CUPE HSPBA and CBA members,

The current HSPBA and CBA Collective Agreements expire on March 31, 2025, and we need to hear from you as we look towards the next round of collective bargaining.

Your voice matters! Take a few moments to help shape our collective future by completing the online bargaining survey today.

The survey will be open from March 26th to April 5th. Let’s work together to ensure your priorities are heard.

HSPBA and CBA members to receive the maximum cost of living increase this year

Negotiated inflation-protection measures will trigger a full 3.0% increase this year.

British Columbia inflation data released this week confirm that the maximum wage protections in the 2022-2025 HSPBA and CBA collective agreements will be triggered, and members will receive a full 3.0% wage increase starting April 1, 2024.

For most members, this brings the total general wage increase for the three years of the agreement to nearly 14%.

The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) was negotiated as part of the current collective agreements and ratified by members in December, 2022. It is based on the annualized average monthly BC Consumer Price Index value over the 12 months leading up to March. The current agreements expire on March 31, 2025, and planning for the upcoming round of negotiations has already begun.

In solidarity,

Andrew Ledger
Health Sector Coordinator

CBA Health Authority Mobility Update

Over the last few weeks, health authorities have begun preparations to fulfill their obligations to implement the Health Authority Mobility language in the current Health Services and Support – Community Subsector (CBA) Collective Agreement.

This has meant many of our members have received notice from the health authority they work for that at the end of April or early May (depending on the health authority), all CBA seniority lists will be merged into a single seniority list for the entire health authority.

If you hold only one position within your health authority, there will be no impact on your seniority. If you hold more than one position, you will be prompted to decide what your primary worksite is, and your seniority will be adjusted to reflect a single seniority rather than multiple levels of seniority.

After implementation, members will be able to apply for positions throughout the health authority. Members will be considered internal applicants for any CBA position and will be able to take all of their accumulated benefits and seniority with them.

We are working with the other CBA affiliate unions and HEABC to establish a firm list of effective dates for each health authority.

In the event a member disagrees with their seniority assignment, you will have the ability to challenge that assignment up to and including the grievance procedure.

We will provide further details as they arise.


In solidarity,

Andrew Ledger
Health Sector Coordinator

CBA Health Authority Mobility Update

During the last round of negotiations, we made significant progress in achieving full mobility for all Health Authority employees covered by the Community Health Bargaining Association (CBA). Each Health Authority is currently divided into separate ‘Appendix 1 Employers’ in the Collective Agreement. Previously, Health Authority employees worked for a separate employer within the Health Authority. In many cases, this meant that they were not considered an internal applicant at other workplaces covered by the same agreement and limited their ability to transfer seniority, benefits, and accruals.

Stage 1 – Transfer of Seniority, Steps, and Accruals

In the new CA, if a worker is a successful applicant for a position in the same Health Authority where they are currently employed, they can choose to transfer all seniority, benefits, increment steps, and accruals to the new position. Workers will still be considered external applicants if they are applying to work for another Health Authority.

Workers will only port their seniority if they choose to resign from the position they currently hold and are not allowed to utilize this provision if they maintain their employment and seniority with another Appendix 1 Employer within a Health Authority. While they may apply to work at other Appendix 1 Employers within their Health Authority, they will be considered a new employee for that job.

Example 1 – A worker in Victoria (VIHA) is a successful applicant for a position in Nanaimo (VIHA). They can now transfer all their seniority, benefits, increment steps, and accruals to the new position if they are resigning from the position in Victoria.

Example 2 – A worker who holds two CBA positions in Burnaby (FHA) and is a successful applicant for a position in Chilliwack (FHA). They can now transfer all seniority, benefits, increment steps, and accruals to the new position if they resign from both positions in Burnaby.

Example 3 – A worker in Vancouver (VCH) who wishes to maintain their current position and apply for a job in Richmond (VCH), will be considered a new employee in Richmond.

Stage 2 – Dovetailing and Full Mobility

The second stage of mobility will occur in April of 2024 when all seniority lists for a Health Authority in the CBA will be merged. They will have full mobility throughout and will be considered internal candidates for all CBA positions, regardless of where they work in the Health Authority. Your Union will update you as the details for this second stage are established.

However, this process will include limiting all CBA employees in a Health Authority to holding a maximum of 1.0 FTE. This means that workers who currently have two or more positions that are more than 1.0 FTE will have to choose which position they will be keeping. This will also impact employees who work more than 37.5 hours per week at straight time. Once the second stage is implemented, all hours worked over 37.5 per week will be considered overtime, and those hours will likely be distributed to other employees at straight time where possible.

If you wish to continue working more than 37.5 hours per week at straight time, you are advised to seek additional employment outside of your health authority or outside the CBA.


In solidarity,

Andrew Ledger
Health Sector Coordinator

Community Bargaining Association unions ratify new three-year collective agreement

BURNABY— The member unions of the Community Bargaining Association (CBA) have ratified a new three-year collective agreement with the Health Employers Association of British Columbia (HEABC).

The deal, ratified by a vote of more than 94 per cent, is retroactive to April 1, 2022 and effective until March 31, 2025. The CBA made substantial gains in key areas identified by members, including significant wage increases averaging 14 to 16 per cent over three years, protection of workers’ benefits, and greater control over working conditions.

“Working through a global pandemic, overdose death emergency, and housing crisis, our members told us that achieving a fair wage increase that closes the gap with other health sector workers was their top priority,” said CBA Bargaining Committee member Andy Healey.

“CUPE members will experience significant monetary gains and have a stronger Collective Agreement that will improve safety and psychological well-being, with working conditions that will help members provide care and support for the communities we work with.”

CUPE representatives on the CBA negotiating committee—CUPE 1004’s Healey, CUPE 15’s Liza Taylor and CUPE Health Coordinator Andrew Ledger—will now work together with the seven other constituent unions of the bargaining association to implement the new provisions.

The committees and working groups will also begin working on full mobility in Health Authorities, OH&S initiatives, and any further changes or updates to the Joint Community Benefit Trust funding structure.

Tentative Agreement for Community Health

We are pleased to announce that the Health Services & Support – Community Subsector Association (CBA) reached a tentative agreement in the early hours of Sunday, January 15, 2023.

The CBA Spokesperson was joined at the bargaining table by eight unions, including CUPE, representing workers covered by the agreement. Representatives on the bargaining committee from every union unanimously support the tentative agreement and encourage all members to vote in favour of ratification.

In the coming days, we will share details of the tentative agreement along with invitations to upcoming information sessions and information on how and when you can vote.

Thank you for standing with our bargaining committee through this challenging round of bargaining. Your support and solidarity gave our committee the courage to reject previous offers from the employer and keep fighting until we secured the best possible deal.

Thanks to you, we have secured an agreement that we are proud to recommend. We are excited to share more details on the significant wage increases, stronger language, and the benefits included in this agreement.


Yours in solidarity,

CUPE CBA Bargaining Committee

January CBA bargaining dates set to hear a new offer

As we continue engaging with the membership about the status of bargaining, we would like to let you know that HEABC has asked us to return to the table to hear a revised offer in January. The constituent unions of the CBA bargaining committee have agreed to return to the table and hear this offer.

We are scheduled to meet with HEABC on January 10, 2023, and we have a series of consecutive days scheduled should they be needed. There is no guarantee that an amended offer will allow us to reach a tentative agreement, but that is the goal of the Bargaining Committee.

As you know, it’s been a tough year of negotiations, and the committee has been disappointed with the employer’s position. Of particular concern is the monetary offer, which outside of core wage increases, does not allow the CBA to keep up with other bargaining associations.

In response, your CUPE delegates to the CBA Bargaining Committee took a break from the table in November and began returning to the membership for feedback. (See our November 21 bulletin for details on providing your input, as this work will continue in the weeks ahead. View PDF here).

Know that your support for our union and the bargaining committee gave us the courage and confidence last month to say “Not good enough!” It’s the only reason we have made it this far. When we reach a tentative agreement, it will be because of your support and commitment to fairness for healthcare workers in the community.

In solidarity,

Your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee

Bargaining continues, progress stalling

The CBA bargaining committee resumed negotiations with HEABC on October 19 – 21, 2022.

We have made some progress and are close to resolving outstanding non-monetary matters, and we’re currently working to reach an agreement on changes to hours of work in both Articles 14 and 15.

However, HEABC (on behalf of the Provincial government) has reiterated that their initial monetary offer has stayed the same. Although this offer includes monies to match the top step of CBA classifications to the comparable FBA rate, it does nothing to address the significant gap in shift premium rates, vacation entitlement, or the years it takes to reach the top step.

More concerning is that there is no additional money at the bargaining table to fund the Joint Community Benefits Trust at the same contribution rates as the FBA. This means that we will not be able to match benefits, and we will remain in a position where the benefits of workers in the CBA could be reduced. We are committed to stopping this, but at this time, there is no offer of additional monies from the province to avoid this in the long term.

We will make one more attempt to resolve these matters in the coming weeks at the bargaining table. If we are unsuccessful, we will have no choice but to engage members on next steps up to and including the potential of taking a strike vote.

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.


In solidarity,

Your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee

Bargaining on pause as employer fails to address monetary, recruitment and retention issues

Your bargaining committee members, along with the committee members from seven other unions, have been bargaining for the last three weeks. Bargaining is now on hold while we look at scheduling new dates, and we anticipate talks will resume in late October or early November.

Since our last update, your employer has continued to resist most of our non-monetary language changes that would create greater certainty, and a greater say for workers about their working conditions. It is our belief that these are critical components of addressing recruitment and retention outside of the clear economic differences between health care workers in the community, and our counterparts in facilities.

It is a struggle to make progress, and frustrating that the employer has not come to the table with ideas of their own to address the recruitment and retention crisis.

With regards to monetary proposals, we are still significantly apart. Our goal in this round of bargaining is to see meaningful progress in closing the gap with other health agreements when it comes to overall wages, premiums and vacation. The offer as it stands today still does not adequately address this gap.

Although there are proposals that would close the gap at step four with facilities, a good portion of that money is at the expense of additional monies offered at virtually every other provincial bargaining table. In other words, they will make up some of the gap, but they expect you to pay for some of it by moving money from other parts of the agreement.

Finally, there is a real danger that due to structural underfinancing of the Joint Community Benefits Trust, benefits for workers in community health will be reduced on January 1, 2023. We are absolutely committed to stopping this, but at this time there is no offer of additional monies from the province at the bargaining table to avoid this.

We have made some progress on meaningful non-monetary items, but it isn’t enough – and we will continue to demand progress towards closing the gap when bargaining resumes.

In solidarity,

Your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee

CBA Bargaining Update: Bargaining progress slows down over monetary, recruitment and retention issues

For most of the last two weeks, the constituent unions of the CBA have been at the bargaining table with the Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC) working towards a tentative agreement. We had hoped to have good news about progress but, unfortunately, we are not satisfied with where negotiations stand at this time.

Your employer has resisted virtually all non-monetary proposals that would bridge the gap between ourselves and our colleagues who work in the Facilities sector. For example, not only did your employer come to the table with no plan to address recruitment and retention; they’ve actually resisted many of our proposals and ideas to make improvements in this area. In addition, your employer’s monetary offer does not fully address the three biggest disparities in our agreement: wage rates, shift premiums, and vacation. In fact, their core monetary offer is less than what was offered to the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA).

To be clear, we believe that workers in the FBA deserve every penny they have in their agreement; we simply want equal pay, premiums, and vacation for workers in the CBA. But the only message we are getting from your employer is that they disagree.

Your employer is also refusing to properly maintain the Joint Community Benefits Trust (JCBT), which provides members in community health with extended health, extended dental, and long-term disability. The JCBT was implemented to achieve a cost-effective yet equal level of benefits as the trusts covering other health care workers. Although we have made clear that the JCBT requires an immediate infusion of money, along with increased and ongoing contributions by the employer to avoid benefit reductions, the employer has not offered any additional monies. Instead, they expect CBA members to pay for maintaining the benefit trust from the money we would otherwise use to increase other parts of the agreement such as premium increases, vacation increases, and wage increases. In other words, concessions.

While progress has not been what we hoped, there is good news. During the last two weeks we have achieved language that covers the distribution of overtime, which we hope will begin to bring transparency and fairness to overtime opportunities, and that allows for full mobility with Health Authorities. But these alone will not begin to address recruitment and retention.

The bottom line is that your employer wants to offer us a deal that would see us fall further behind at a time when health care workers in the community have not only weathered a pandemic but continue to face the opioid crisis and chronic understaffing. Your committee is committed to fighting back, to closing the gap, and to ensuring you get the deal you deserve.

In solidarity,

Your Community Bargaining Association (CBA) Negotiating Committee