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.

HSPBA wage increases go into effect

BURNABY—The two-per-cent general wage increase for health care workers under the HSPBA, as agreed to during negotiations for the 2019-2022 HSPBA collective agreement, has come into effect as of this first pay period following April 1, 2019.

As one of the constituent unions under the HSPBA, CUPE was given the opportunity to review the numbers for accuracy. The draft wage rates, sent to the unions by HEABC, have now been reviewed by the CUPE Health Care Presidents Council using both manual and excel calculations. The Council has confirmed their accuracy.

For the time being, the wage rates are being distributed only in Draft form, on a Without Prejudice and Precedent basis: the wage schedules cannot be formally finalized until the Appendix A arbitration issues have been fully resolved, as they may require modification. Any modifications or amendments to the wage schedules will be updated, distributed to the unions, and posted upon finalization.

For more information, please contact CUPE Health Coordinator Chris Losito (closito@cupe.ca) or your local’s HSPBA rep:

CUPE Local 15: Mia Nickel, mia.nickel@vch.ca

CUPE Local 1978: Lindsay Fumalle, https://cupe1978.com/contact/

CUPE Local 4816: Connie Penman: cupe4816@telus.net

Big News on the Community Health Low Wage Redress + A telephone town hall

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

Re:                   Big News on the Community Health Low Wage Redress + A telephone town hall

As you may be aware, the Community Health Bargaining Association (CBA) collective agreement just came into force on April 1, 2019. It includes a $40 million fund to move wages for all jobs closer to the pay rates for equivalent work in the Facilities sub-sector.  This is great news.

We’re happy to let you know that the Low Wage Redress funds have now been fully allocated for all three years of the collective agreement. Every Community Health Services job is now being compared to its equivalent under the Health Facilities agreement, and as such we’ve updated the Wage Grid (Schedule A in the collective agreement) and the pay rates for each of those grids.

Funds were allocated first to those wages that were the furthest behind their Facilities counterparts. Fundamentally, this was about attempting to achieve equal pay for equal work across agreements. By the time the funds have been fully distributed in April 2021, all classifications will be just 1.5 per cent away from their Facilities equivalent.

Your union is hosting two telephone town hall meetings on Monday (April 8) to explain the benefits your bargaining unit fought for hard for and won at the bargaining table, and to give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

The call-in number for both calls is 1-877-229-8493 with ID code 117342.  Please join us!

Date Time
April 8, 2019 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
April 8, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

We’ve attached some information to help explain the Low Wage Redress and how it works for your job classification. We look forward to speaking with you on Monday!

In solidarity,

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

Scott DeLong, Component 8 Vice President, Vancouver Island Health Authority
Deb Wilson, BCGEU Staff Representative; Brent Camilleri, BCGEU Staff Representative and CBA Chief Spokesperson
Monica Staff, UFCW; Chris Dorais, HEU; Derek Wong, HSA

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

HSPBA broadens funding criteria, eligibility for $3 million professional development fund

BURNABY—The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) has issued a second call for applications to its $3 million professional development fund, after revising the funding and eligibility guidelines, in order to provide more opportunities for health science professionals to increase specialization, improve health care service to rural and remote areas of B.C., and meet ongoing requirements for professional development.

Funding is still available and CUPE members covered by the HSPBA are encouraged to either apply or, for those whose first applications were denied, to seek reconsideration. Details about the PD Fund were announced in September.

Funding criteria have been broadened in these ways:

  • Within the same funding caps, the funding guidelines have been broadened to now also include eligibility for education that starts after August 31, 2019 (up until education that starts on December 31, 2019);
  • Exam fees and travel related to exam fees;
  • Travel for education within Canada;
  • With acceptable rationale, education costs and travel for education within USA;
  • With acceptable rationale, education costs (but not travel) for education internationally.

Members are encouraged to review the new funding eligibility guidelines, application and frequently asked questions documents. Previously-denied applications will not be automatically reviewed under the new criteria. Members who were previously denied may seek reconsideration by emailing:

 

 

In solidarity,

Chris Losito
CUPE Health Coordinator – BC Region

 

Health science professionals vote to ratify three-year collective agreement

Health science professionals working in hospitals and communities throughout the province have voted to accept a new collective agreement that recognizes the value of health science professionals on multi-disciplinary health care teams.

With a vote of 82 per cent in favour of the agreement, union members covered by the multi-union Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) collective agreement have accepted a three-year contract that meets important objectives. The agreement includes competitive wages, a classification system that reflects the contributions of a diverse group of specialized members of the health care team, strategies to address workload and recruitment and retention, and a commitment to improving health and safety on the job.

Information and vote meetings were conducted from January 7 to February 8, 2019. HSPBA is a multi-union bargaining association led by the Health Sciences Association of BC (HSA). Health science professionals include more than 100 distinct specialties, working across BC in hospitals, cancer centres, community clinics, health protection offices and other settings where they deliver the diagnostic, clinical, prevention, education and rehabilitation services British Columbians depend on for their physical and mental health.

For the first time in almost 20 years, the unions were able to achieve significant gains with a government mandate that allowed for free collective bargaining, unlike the previous concessionary government mandates that resulted in health science professionals falling behind their peers across the country.

“We were happy to see such a strong show of support by our members for this agreement—it shows that health science professionals really wanted to see improvements to the contract and believed in our efforts to achieve them,” said CUPE bargaining team member Sheri Moy.  “We’ll be stronger moving forward, knowing that the critical work health science professionals do for our public health care system is truly valued.”

CUPE bargaining committee member Jennifer Kassimatis said the contract’s inclusion of two-per-cent general wage increases per year, no concessions to extended health care benefits and pensions, and improvements to the classification system will, along with a continuing professional development fund represent progressive gains for members.

CUPE Health Coordinator Chris Losito thanked CUPE health science professionals for their support of the bargaining committee’s efforts. He also thanked the bargaining committee and local stewards for their steadfast commitment to negotiating and ratifying the agreement.

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.