Health care presidents anticipate growth in sector

NANAIMO—Growth in CUPE’s community health sector was a major topic of discussion at CUPE’s Health Care Presidents Council (HCPC) meeting held here on August 14.

Council members from several CUPE locals heard some exciting news about the prospect of increasing membership, both for the Council and for the community health sector at large.

“The results of this growth will be a stronger voice and an increased vote in the bargaining association on behalf of CUPE’s members, and an increased proportion of collectively bargained funding for things like the enhanced disability management program and, where applicable, professional development funds,” said CUPE Health Coordinator Chris Losito.

“Increased membership in the Council also allows the HCPC more options for pursuing sector-related campaigns supportive of our members’ needs.”

Community health locals can expect to hear more news on this increase in membership in the near future.

At the meeting, the Council also adopted a new Protocol Agreement that strengthens its relationships with partners such as CUPE BC and the Hospital Employees’ Union, discussed ways to ensure more activity involving new member orientation, and nominated CUPE 1978 member Kaz Takeuchi as the new treasurer.

CBA Low Wage Redress for “Layered Over” Positions

Attention CUPE CBA members:

According to the CBA Classification Manual, found in the collective agreement, a “Layered Over” position is one which is required to assign work to another Community Subsector employee and is required to ensure that the assigned work is completed.  These positions are entitled to compensation at one (1) grid higher than the employee they provide supervision to.

If you hold a layered over position, we ask that you ensure you are indeed being compensated at the correct rate.  If not, please contact your CUPE Local right away: https://bcchs.cupe.ca/contact-us/.

Sincerely,

Your CUPE Health Care Presidents Council.

Categories CBA

Low wage redress update – Night shift premiums

To all CUPE members in the Community Health Bargaining Association,

Further to an earlier bulletin, Low Wage Redress monies in addition to wages were also used to implement a night shift premium equivalent to the premium provided for in the Facilities sub-sector. Changes to the collective agreement to implement this premium have been confirmed below.

The summary is that night shift premiums will be paid to all workers who work the major portion of their shift between midnight and 8 a.m. The amounts will be $2.00 per hour effective April 1, 2019; $2.25 per hour effective April 1, 2020 and $2.50 per hour effective April 1, 2021.

The premium is either paid for the whole shift or not paid for the whole shift. For example, workers working 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. will receive the premium for all 8 hours of their shift as 7 of the 8 hours worked occur in the midnight to 8 a.m. time window. Workers working 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. wouldn’t receive the premium for any hours as only 2 of their 8 hours are worked between midnight and 8 a.m.

Here are the full text changes to the collective agreement agreed between the CBA and HEABC:

Night Shift Premiums

The parties have agreed to implement Night Shift Premiums as per the Facilities Collective Agreement (2019-2022), as follows on the first pay period after April 1, 2019:

For employees scheduled under Article 14:

“Employees working the night shift shall be paid a shift differential of two dollars ($2.00) per hour for the entire shift worked. Night shift will be defined as any shift in which the major portion occurs between 12:00 Midnight (2400 hours) and 8:00 A.M. (0800 hours)”.

For employees scheduled under Article 15:

Night shift premiums shall only apply to employees scheduled to work Live-in and Overnight Shifts as per Article 15.14:

15.14 Live-in and Overnight Shifts

       (a) Compensation

Live-in shifts shall be paid at a minimum of 13 hours or more if purchased by the purchaser of the service, at the employee’s regular rate of pay. For Live-in shifts, all hours worked between 12:00 Midnight (2400 hours) and 8:00 A.M. (0800 hours) shall be paid a night shift differential of two dollars ($2.00) per paid hour (maximum 8 hours per Live-in shift). All hours paid shall be used in the determination of benefit entitlement and seniority. Employees shall receive two consecutive days off after five consecutive days worked in one week.

Overnight shifts shall be paid at a minimum of 10 hours or more if purchased by the purchaser of the service, at the employee’s regular rate of pay. For Overnight shifts, all hours worked between 12:00 Midnight (2400 hours) and 8:00 A.M. (0800 hours) shall be paid a night shift differential of two dollars ($2.00) per paid hour (maximum 8 hours per Overnight shift). All hours paid shall be used in the determination of benefit entitlement and seniority. Employees shall receive two consecutive days off after five consecutive days worked in one week. Upon request, the hours purchased by the purchaser of live-in shifts and overnight shifts will be provided to the Union for all clients.

Night Shift Premiums will increase to $2.25/hour on the first pay period after April 1, 2020 and $2.50/hour on the first pay period after April 1, 2021.

In solidarity,

Your CUPE Health Care Presidents Council,
on behalf of the Community Health Low Wage Redress Committee

 

Categories CBA

A busy year for health care presidents

PACKED AGENDA—Members of CUPE’s Health Care Presidents Council meet at CUPE’s B.C. Regional Office on May 15. Standing, from left: Warren Williams (CUPE 15, HCPC chair), Lindsay Fumalle (CUPE 1978), CUPE Health Coordinator Chris Losito, Mia Nickel (CUPE 15) and Brandon Laviolette (CUPE 3495). Seated, from left: Michael McKinley and Kaz Takeuchi (CUPE 1978) and Andrew Ledger (CUPE 1004 and CUPE BC executive liaison). Attending via Skype were Jill Stromnes and Connie Penman of CUPE 4816 and Shauna Cairney and Carla Bailey of CUPE 3403-01.

BURNABY—After a successful year of bargaining that saw its members achieve solid new collective agreements, increased visibility and new ways to address workload, CUPE’s Health Care Presidents Council (HCPC) met on May 15 to review progress so far, identify ongoing challenges in the sector, and solidify its relationship to CUPE BC.

At the meeting, Council members reviewed recent updates to the Community Health website (bcchs.cupe.ca), particularly new resources provided for the sector’s ongoing workload campaign. These include information post cards, customized for each local in the sector, on what action to take and who to contact regarding unsafe workloads, as well as tips on how to file a grievance.

In his report to the Council, CUPE Health Coordinator Chris Losito noted that low wage redress has now been implemented for members in the Community Health Bargaining Association (CBA), which by April 1, 2021 will bring those classifications to within 98 per cent of other Facilities Bargaining Association pay rates.

“Ultimately we’d like to see parity with Facilities overall, but this is a significant step in the right direction,” said Losito.

Presidents discussed a growing trend, among some employers under the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA), of changing required qualifications for certain professions, now requiring a minimum of a Master’s degree. Vancouver Coastal Health, for example, has been doing this for social work positions without notice and without considering exceptions for equivalent experience. Agreeing that the same system should apply across all locals, the Presidents said they would monitor job postings in their respective areas and strongly encourage members who feel they have equivalent experience to apply for positions of interest.

HCPC members also reviewed and put the finishing touches to the Council’s protocol agreement. Essentially functioning as a set of bylaws for the HCPC, the protocol agreement is a foundational document that describes the Council’s work on behalf of CUPE community health locals and members around the province.

“Once the locals sign off on it, the protocol’s adoption will ultimately expand the scope of the Council’s work, improve communication between its members and also between the HCPC and CUPE BC as well as between the HCPC and its allies in labour and the health sector.  The revised protocol agreement will also empower the HCPC to address urgent issues facing the sector in a more timely manner,” said Losito.

The HCPC is comprised of presidents and delegates from CUPE Locals 15, 1978, 3403-01, 3495 and 4816, each local representing members within two provincial collective agreements—the Community Bargaining Association (CBA) and the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA)—as well as the QMUNITY collective agreement. Combined, these CUPE locals represent just over 500 members in the CBA and approximately 800 HSPBA members.

The group next meets on August 14 in Nanaimo.

New and improved resources now available to tackle your workload!

BURNABY—After conducting member workshops and compiling sector-specific information based on the results of a workload survey, CUPE’s Community Health sector has now produced a set of materials aimed at solving workload problems that members can easily access from the sector website.

The Workload Solutions web page, found at https://bcchs.cupe.ca/workload-solutions/, has been updated with a range of materials including Local-specific post cards on how to identify excessive workload, what steps to take in response and who to contact for assistance. The post card has also been distributed to CBA, HSPBA and QMUNITY Locals so that members will have a printed version at their fingertips when needed.

Additional workload materials on the website include the survey results, an FAQ document to inform members of what a grievance is and what to expect from the grievance process, workload tracking forms, and information from CUPE National on the health and safety implications of workload and their health and safety rights.

Significant updates to the website were also made for members of Local 3945 employed by QMUNITY—including the posting of their Collective Agreement in this location: https://bcchs.cupe.ca/resources/qmunity-resources/.

Please also remember to like and follow our CUPECommunityHealthBC page on Facebook, and our Instagram account @cupecommunityhealthbc.

CBA Update on Low Wage Redress

To:      All CUPE Members at Health Services & Support – Community Subsector

Re:      Update on Low Wage Redress

One of the features of your new collective agreement that expires on March 31, 2022 is a $40 million fund for low wage redress. This is different than the comparability monies distributed in the agreement that expires March 31, 2019 because it will be applied to a greater number of positions. You can find the collective agreement language on the first page under “Low Wage Redress”.

The committee has made excellent progress since convening in Fall 2018. What took two years last time is taking much less time this time around. This is due to a number of factors, but none is more important than having a Minister of Health who is working sincerely to fix the 16 years of neglect under the BC Liberal government.

The deadline to reach agreement on the allocation of these monies has passed. However, the committee has been working hard to narrow the issues and we have made significant progress. We are very close to finalizing our work.

Some matters were referred to Arbitrator Ready by written submission and those matters have been settled, clearing the way for the committee to finish its work. We expect to be finished sometime this month.

As soon as the work is complete, we will let you know the results.

In solidarity,

Your CBA Low Wage Redress Committee

 

Categories CBA

Health Care Presidents Council marks successes, tackles challenges

MOVING FORWARD—Members of CUPE’s Health Care Presidents Council gather at its quarterly meeting, held at the CUPE 1978 office in Victoria on February 13. From left: Jill Stromnes (CUPE 4816), CUPE Health Coordinator Chris Losito, Michael McKinley and Lindsay Fumalle (CUPE 1978), Connie Penman (CUPE 4816), and Kazuhiro Takeuchi (CUPE 1978). Other members from Upper Island and Lower Mainland locals participated via Skype.

VICTORIA—Increased member engagement as a result of the sector’s expanded online presence is providing new opportunities to reach CUPE members in community health, the Health Care Presidents Council (HCPC) concluded at its quarterly meeting on February 13.

As part of the sector’s ongoing workload campaign, the Council decided that new materials on improved collective agreement language addressing excessive workloads will soon be shared via local distribution and the sector’s regional online networks.

“We’ve been excited to see increased activity from members on our Community Health website and Facebook page. This indicates that there’s a real desire for more information on various issues affecting them,” said CUPE Health Coordinator Chris Losito.

“We believe in the value of these online platforms, which help our members not only to find the new information or archived material they seek but also, through this kind of interactivity, reach solutions to the issues affecting them, especially workload.”

Following the anticipated ratification of the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) collective agreement, members can expect to see a shareable post card on workload that will inform them of their rights under the collective agreement and provide guidance on how to apply those rights in the workplace.

Also at the meeting, Council members shared success stories from the recent HSPBA ratification process, which drew a 40 per cent response rate. The CUPE locals clearly appreciated the numerous opportunities and accessible locations for voting, which contributed directly to the much higher than average participation rate, noted Losito.

In other meeting business, the Health Presidents voted to extend the position of the Enhanced Disability Management Program advocate at five days a week for 2019, and made amendments to the Council’s bylaws.

The HCPC’s next meeting will be on May 15 at CUPE’s B.C. regional office.

Wage increases effective on February 1

BURNABY—The Community Bargaining Association (CBA) and Health Science Professionals’ Bargaining Association (HSPBA) have released their respective wage schedules, which both include a 1 per cent general wage increase and a 0.75 per cent Economic Stability Dividend (ESD). The increases are effective as of the first pay period after Friday, February 1.

As a reminder, the ESD is calculated based on 50 per cent of the positive difference between the Economic Forecast Council (EFC) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast and the data released by Statistics Canada. Economic growth in B.C. exceeded the forecast provided by the EFC, the difference translating into an increase of 0.75 per cent for unionized provincial public sector employees who have reached agreements under the Government’s Economic Stability Mandate for collective bargaining, which includes the CBA and HSPBA.

The dividend is cumulative and is in addition to the general wage increases contained in the Collective Agreements.

The ESD increase plus the scheduled 1 per cent general wage increase will be applied to the current salary grids.  Once applied, those grids will be revised and posted for our members so that you are able to easily view the accurate wages.

HSPBA wage grid

CBA wage grid

 

CUPE members covered by Community Health collective agreement invited to have their say on the Low-Wage Redress Fund

Dear CUPE Community Health Member (CBA):

The Community Bargaining Association has been meeting with the Health Employers Association of BC to discuss how to best distribute the $40 million of low wage redress monies recently bargained. The $40 million represents about 6% of total payroll and will be distributed in roughly equal amounts on April 1, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

This amount is substantial, but it’s not enough to close the gap with Facilities Bargaining Association wage rates. That means we have to make decisions on how to spend it to make the biggest difference for you. We need more information to make those decisions. This is where you come in.

The CBA member unions are surveying all our members over the next few weeks. Each survey will be very short – we are designing them to take less than five minutes to fill out and to only have one per week. Please take five minutes today to give us the information we need to distribute the money to make the biggest difference we can across the sector. The survey will be closed to responses after noon Friday, November 23, 2018.

Click this link to go to the survey and thank you!

Categories CBA

Community Health workers ratify new deal

BURNABY—Members of the multi-union Community Bargaining Association (CBA) have voted solidly in favour of a new contract with health employers. The new three-year collective agreement, which covers 16,000 union members working in the community health sector, will take effect April 1, 2019 and expire on March 31, 2022.

“Workers in the community health sector play a significant role in the public health system at large,” said CUPE Health coordinator Chris Losito. “This agreement goes a long way toward closing the wage gap with other health workers, so our members deserve credit for making sure their work is properly recognized and respected.”

Highlights of the agreement include a general increase in wages, funding to address low wages, improved employment security and additional funding for the Enhanced Disability Management Program.

The tentative agreement was reached in mid-June after weeks of negotiations between the CBA and the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC).

Of the roughly 16,000 CBA employees working in community health around the province, the majority are represented by the BCGEU. Along with CUPE, which has 528 members in the sector, the other CBA unions at the table were HEU, HSA, UFCW, USWA, CLAC and BCNU.

Categories CBA