More CUPE members now covered by WorkSafeBC mental-health presumption

The BC Ministry of Labour added 11 new occupations to the mental-health presumption under the Workers Compensation Act this week. This will allow more CUPE members faster access to treatment and workers compensation benefits for psychological injuries.

The newly added occupations include:

  • Harm-reduction workers
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Shelter workers
  • Social workers
  • Transition house workers
  • Victim service workers
  • Withdrawal management workers

The mental health presumption fast-tracks the claims process with WorkSafeBC. This provides workers faster access to treatment and workers’ compensation benefits once a formal diagnosis of the psychological injury has been made. These changes will help ensure the workers who are counted on to care for others also receive the support they need.

Most of the occupations now covered are well defined. For further clarity, Harm-reduction worker means a worker whose duties include, for the purpose of reducing the risk of toxic drug poisoning and other drug-related harms, supporting and monitoring persons who consume drugs, and who work primarily in one or more of the following:

  • The community
  • Residential facilities or units in which supportive housing services are provided
  • Premises used to provide public health interventions, including sites commonly known as safe consumption sites, or at which other types of overdose prevention services are provided

While all workers can be exposed to a traumatic event or events and sustain a psychological injury, members who work in occupations recognized with the WorkSafeBC presumption have a disproportionate level of sustaining these injuries.

Work still needs to be done to create psychologically healthy workplaces in the health and social services sectors. While CUPE continues to fight for the safety of all workers, we recognize these changes by the Ministry of Labour will provide much needed support for workers who experience psychological injuries.

In solidarity,

Andrew Ledger
Health Sector Coordinator

CUPE holds successful 2024 Health Sector Bargaining Conference

CUPE held its health sector bargaining conference on May 22, 2024, where delegates from all five locals with healthcare members elected Bargaining Representatives. The following members have been elected:

Andy Healey, Bargaining Representative
Dylan Webb, Bargaining Representative
Bobby Burges, Alternate Bargaining Representative

Brian Moore, Bargaining Representative
Sarah Walker, Bargaining Representative
Brent Nixon, Alternative Bargaining Representative

Delegates heard presentations from the BC Health Coalition, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Trevor Davies and CUPE Regional Director Martina Boyd. CUPE Researcher Stephen Elliott-Buckley reviewed the 2024 Bargaining Survey, and then delegates reviewed the survey results specific to their Collective Agreement.

Based on the survey results and discussions in their groups, priorities were identified, and those will be developed into bargaining proposals over the coming months.

Members covered by the Nurses Bargaining Association Collective Agreement will meet later in the year to discuss priorities for the next round of bargaining.

There will be further updates as we get closer to the expiry of the current collective agreements.

We thank all delegates for their participation and congratulate the members who have been elected as Bargaining Representatives.

In solidarity,

Andrew Ledger
Health Sector Coordinator

Ministry Funding for Health Sector

Greetings CUPE CBA and HSPBA Members,

This past week, the provincial government announced new initiatives aimed at tackling retention and recruitment issues in the healthcare sector and expanding healthcare services to rural and remote communities.

  1. Incentives for workers living and working in rural and remote communities will increase.
  2. The Community Bargaining Association (CBA) and the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) will receive another $20 million to fund professional development and mental health and wellness support for its members.

Our membership has called on the government to take action on these issues for years. While more changes are needed to create the healthcare system we want, this announcement reminds us that our continued advocacy is making a difference.

In the coming weeks, our union will be seeking further details about these initiatives, how they will be implemented and how workers can access them. Please watch for those updates.

You can read the full press release from the Ministry of Health here:


In solidarity,

Andrew Ledger
Health Sector Coordinator

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

HSPBA professional development fund applications for 2023-24 now open to CUPE members

CUPE health science professionals can now apply for new professional development funds announced in the spring under an agreement reached between the provincial Ministry of Health and the Health Sciences Professional Bargaining Association (HSPBA).

All health science professionals covered by the HSPBA collective agreement, which includes members of HSA, BCGEU, CUPE, PEA and HEU, are eligible to apply for funding, which will be allocated to the constituent unions on a pro-rata basis.

Key points about the new professional development funding:

  • The funding is to be allocated to training and upgrading skills for HSPBA members working in professions experiencing shortages, or in rural and remote locations, as well as ongoing required professional development for all HSPBA members;
  • The funding will apply to education or training commenced between September 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024. The application form should be submitted ASAP and no later than August 31, 2024;
  • The education or training must pertain to professional development in a health science professional discipline being practiced in the public health care system; and
  • Eligible expenses for reimbursement include tuition fees, registration fees, cost of required books or materials, and other reasonable education-related expenses and may also include reasonable costs of travel and accommodation if the applicant must travel or temporarily relocate to attend education or training or related clinical placement.

Successful applicants will be reimbursed upon proof of completion of the program applied for, along with receipt for costs claimed. If a course, if a program or workshop is cancelled or otherwise not attended, the application will be cancelled and the member must reapply on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, see the eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions.

To apply now, fill out this form.

HSPBA classification redesign process ready for members

A new web page on the CUPE Health Workers site is ready to assist members who work full- or part-time under the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) in determining whether their employer has properly classified their work.

The process, part of a new classification redesign aimed at modernizing the healthcare system, ensures that your role in the system is clearly recognized, that your job has been classified properly and that you are paid appropriately.

The web page contains information about the process, answers to frequently asked questions, and a classification review questionnaire, which will guide you through an assessment of your job to determine if the employer has assigned your job to the correct classification profile. It also includes a profile match objection form in case your employer has misclassified your job.

The employer is expected to provide each member with their job description and match in the redesigned classification system by no later than September 22. Members who have not received their new job description by then should request the documents from their supervisor or manager. If there are problems related to receiving your job description, please contact

Please remember that you must complete the classification review questionnaire before November 15. If the employer has misclassified your job, you will also need to submit a profile match objection form to your employer before that date.

HSPBA reaches agreement on retroactive pay for members not employed since April 1, 2022

Union members covered by the HSPBA collective agreement urged to reach out to former colleagues with important information about retro pay, including deadlines for eligibility. 

The Health Sciences Professional Bargaining Association (HSBPA) and the Health Employers Association of British Columbia (HEABC) reached a Memorandum of Agreement this month on retroactive pay for eligible members who ceased employment on or after April 1, 2022 – the date that most of the monetary terms and conditions of the 2022-2025 HSPBA collective agreement came into effect.

This retroactive pay agreement, which was concluded on July 21, 2023, ensures that union members covered by the HSPBA Collective Agreement whose employment ended after April 1, 2022, will receive payment for all monetary provisions related to work they performed on or after that date.

This applies to any member who stopped working for a HEABC employer through resignation, retirement, or termination by the employer. It applies only to employees who have severed their employment relationship. For clarity, members who retired but remain casual employees have a continuing employment relationship, so they are not required to apply for retroactive pay under the terms of this Memorandum of Agreement.

Retroactive pay includes all monetary provisions such as wages, premiums, allowances, and leaves and is calculated on all paid hours. Please check the summary of changes for more details.

Eligible members will receive a letter from their employer, at their last known address on record, with details on how to apply for retroactive pay. Under the terms of the agreement, the employers will send these letters no later than August 15, 2023. Eligible members will have 60 days from the date of the letter to respond to the employer. If a former employee does not provide a response within 60 days, the employer will not be required to pay. 

The employer will determine the method and timing of the payment, but it will be no later than December 1, 2023, and will be by cheque or direct deposit.

Important deadlines

  • Letter from employers to former employees: August 15, 2023
  • Last day to apply for retroactive pay: October 14, 2023
  • Retroactive payment to former employees: no later than December 1, 2023

If you know someone who may be eligible for this retroactive payment, please forward this important information to them so they can apply for the money owed to them.

Former employees who are eligible for retroactive payment should contact their Local if they do not receive a letter from their former employer outlining how to apply for the retroactive pay to which they are entitled.

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