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

Tentative agreement reached for B.C.’s Health Science Professionals

After almost 10 weeks of bargaining, a three-year tentative agreement has been reached between the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) and Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) that is remarkable for the range of improvements included.

Highlights of the proposed April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2022 agreement include a general wage increase of six per cent over three years for all health science professionals, improvements to address workload, appropriate compensation and job classification, recruitment and retention, and occupational health, safety and violence prevention issues, as well as long-awaited improvements to leave provisions.

The union negotiating committee focused on achieving a collective agreement that addressed years of erosion in the health care system. The committee focused on critical issues of concern to members, including unsustainable workloads, chronic shortages and vacancies of critical members of the health care team.

“This agreement reinforces the value of the critical work that health science professionals do for our public health care system,” said CUPE bargaining team member Sheri Moy.  “Working together with the employer under a progressive mandate, this bargaining experience was more productive and collaborative than we have ever seen in previous rounds. This approach allowed us to address some of the longstanding concerns we have wanted to resolve for quite some time.”

CUPE bargaining committee member Jennifer Kassimatis said the agreement is good for all British Columbians. “These improvements will benefit not only our members but the public health care system as a whole,” said Kassimatis.

The tentative agreement covers more than 19,000 health science professionals who deliver health care services in B.C. hospitals and communities. The majority of HSPBA members are represented by the Health Sciences Association of BC (HSA).  Along with CUPE, the other unions represented at the bargaining table are BCGEU, PEA, and HEU. The current collective agreement expires in March 2019.

The HSPBA bargaining committee agreed unanimously to accept the tentative agreement. Each of the member unions will consider the recommendation of the bargaining committee as they prepare to take the agreement to a vote by members covered by the contract.

Negotiations continuing for health science professionals’ collective agreement

Negotiating teams head back into talks this week to continue bargaining for a new collective agreement for the province’s 18,000 health science professionals working in hospitals and communities around the province.

The bargaining teams have been working solidly for the past three weeks, and significant progress is being made at the table on a number of issues. This week, the focus shifts to workload and shortages solutions, finding effective strategies for ensuring occupational health and safety, and optimizing benefit provisions

HSPBA represents 18,000 union members, the majority of whom are represented by HSA.  Along with CUPE, the other unions represented at the bargaining table are BCGEU, PEA, and HEU. The current collective agreement expires in March 2019.

CUPE is represented at the bargaining table by chief negotiator Chris Losito, CUPE National Representative and B.C. Health Coordinator, and by Bargaining Committee members Jennifer Kassimatis, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Vancouver; Sheri Moy, Licensing Officer, Burnaby; and Michael McKinley, Environmental Health Officer, Victoria (alternate committee member).

For regular bargaining updates, check CUPE’s Community Health website, or follow us on our Facebook page.

It’s important for CUPE to be able to contact you.  Please make sure your contact information is current. Visiting the Community Health website, contact your local to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date.

Quality public health care continues to be the focus for HSPBA negotiators

Negotiating teams head back into talks tomorrow to continue bargaining for a new collective agreement for the province’s 18,000 health science professionals working in hospitals and communities around the province.

Discussions have centred on measures to enhance job security, including addressing internal equity issues, improving the delivery of disability management programs for members, and expanding access to fill vacancies. Legislative protections for workers and extended parental leaves have been the focus of much discussion, as have been social changes that require updating leave provisions in the contract.

With a focus on improving the public health care system to strengthen the delivery of patient care, negotiators are pursuing a modernized collective agreement that allows for flexibility in a changing system, while ensuring continued growth in wages, benefits and career opportunities to ensure affordability for the province’s dedicated care givers. The coming week is expected to see continued discussion of classification redesign, and strategies to assist effective management of workload.

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. The current collective agreement expires in March 2019.

For regular bargaining updates, check CUPE’s Community Health website, or follow us on our Facebook page.

It’s important for CUPE to be able to contact you.  Please make sure your contact information is current. Visiting the Community Health website, contact your local to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date.

CUPE’s member representatives to the HSPBA bargaining committee are:

  • Chief negotiator: Chris Losito, CUPE National Representative and Health Coordinator – BC Region.

Bargaining Committee members:

  • Jennifer Kassimatis, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Vancouver.
  • Sheri Moy, Licensing Officer, Burnaby.
  • Michael McKinley, Environmental Health Officer, Victoria (alternate committee member).

 

Update on contract talks for B.C.’s health science professionals

BURNABY—Bargaining for a new collective agreement covering B.C.’s 18,000 health science professionals working in hospitals and communities around the province concluded its second week on Friday after a series of meetings between unions, represented by the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA), and employers represented by the Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC).

The current collective agreement, which came into effect in April 2014 and continues to March 31, 2019, was ambitious in directing the union and employer bargaining associations to develop a modernized classification system, protect benefits, and address issues of recruitment and retention. The work on those areas has been continuous throughout the life of the agreement. The HSPBA welcomes recent Ministry of Health initiatives and policies focused on strengthening the delivery of patient care within a strong publicly funded health care system.

The unions’ proposals are aimed at securing contract improvements that promote job satisfaction and security, support the Ministry of Health’s efforts to address shortages, and promote stability and continuity in the healthcare workforce.  Proposals discussed to date are related to classifications, benefits, and improvements to the Enhanced Disability Management Program and accommodation process. Talks on these issues, and on addressing workload challenges, are scheduled to continue for the next two weeks.

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. The current collective agreement expires in March 2019.

For regular bargaining updates, check CUPE’s Community Health website, or follow us on our Facebook page.

It’s important for CUPE to be able to contact you.  Please make sure your contact information is current. Visiting the Community Health website, contact your local to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date.

CUPE’s member representatives to the HSPBA bargaining committee are:

  • Chief negotiator: Chris Losito, CUPE National Representative and Health Coordinator – BC Region.

Bargaining Committee members:

  • Jennifer Kassimatis, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Vancouver.
  • Sheri Moy, Licensing Officer, Burnaby.
  • Michael McKinley, Environmental Health Officer, Victoria (alternate committee member).

Contract negotiations begin for B.C.’s health science professionals

VANCOUVER—Bargaining for a new collective agreement for BC’s 18,000 health science professionals working in hospitals and communities throughout the province got underway this week as bargaining representatives for the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) and Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC) began contract negotiations today.

The union negotiators will focus on achieving a collective agreement that helps address years of erosion in the health care system.

“We’ve received a strong message from our members that years of neglect under previous governments have left a lot of their concerns unaddressed, so we look forward to negotiating a new contract that fixes the system while recognizing the value of their work as health science professionals,” said CUPE Health Coordinator Chris Losito.

“Our member survey earlier this year showed that excessive workload is the number one issue. As well, recruitment and retention need to be addressed because health care teams are being stretched to the limit. So we are hopeful and optimistic that this current round of negotiations will produce an agreement that improves health care services for all British Columbians while respecting the contributions of the hard-working, multi-disciplinary professionals who deliver them.”

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 represented at the bargaining table are BCGEU, PEA, and HEU. The current collective agreement expires in March 2019.

For regular bargaining updates, check CUPE’s Community Health website, or follow us on our Facebook page.

It’s important for CUPE to be able to contact you.  Please make sure your contact information is current. Visiting the Community Health website, contact your local to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date.

CUPE’s member representatives to the HSPBA bargaining committee are:

  • Chief negotiator: Chris Losito, CUPE National Representative and Health Coordinator – BC Region.

Bargaining Committee members:

  • Jennifer Kassimatis, Environmental Health Officer, Vancouver.
  • Sheri Moy, Licensing Officer, Burnaby.
  • Michael McKinley, Environmental Health Officer, Victoria (alternate committee member).

New $3 million professional development fund to help address health science professions shortages in B.C.

BURNABY—The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) is pleased to announce the creation of a new $3-million professional development fund for members of the health care team  to undertake professional development to increase specialization, improve health care service to rural and remote areas of B.C., and meet ongoing requirements for professional development.

The fund, available to health science professionals who work under the HSPBA collective agreement, was created through a contribution from the Ministry of Health. CUPE’s share of the funding for its members is approximately $115,000.  Applications will be reviewed and approved by CUPE HSPBA locals and funds will be directly reimbursed to successful applicants upon production of receipts for eligible expenses.

The fund focuses on supporting professional development in three areas:

  • $1 million to encourage HSPBA members to retrain for health science professions experiencing shortages in B.C.
  • $1 million to enhance professional development opportunities for health science professionals working in rural or remote areas of B.C.
  • $1 million to assist health science professionals across the province to meet ongoing requirements for professional development.

All health science professionals covered by the HSPBA collective agreement, which includes members of PEA, HSA, BCGEU, CUPE, and HEU, are eligible to apply for funding. Applications will be approved on a first come, first served basis, until the fund is exhausted. Members are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The guidelines, application, and frequently asked questions documents are downloadable.

 

In solidarity,

Chris Losito
CUPE Health Coordinator – BC Region

CUPE survey on the opioid crisis in Canada

The opioid crisis is a growing problem across Canada.  It’s impacting CUPE members and families across the country. The causes of the crisis are multi-faceted and there’s no consensus around how it should be solved. CUPE has developed materials, including a poster and survey, to explore solutions to the crisis.

Members can distribute the poster throughout their locals simply by copying and posting in workplaces. The online survey can be completed anonymously and confidentially.

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

BC Health Coalition to host talk on Primary Health Care

VANCOUVER—The BC Health Coalition will be hosting a discussion on July 10 about new primary care initiatives happening in B.C. The discussion will be focused on a new, community-governed and interdisciplinary team approach to primary health care delivery that meets the needs of immigrants, refugees and older adult immigrants.

Light refreshments will be provided. There is limited seating. To RSVP, please e-mail Kari Kesslar at k.kesslar@shaw.ca.

What: Community Discussion on New Opportunities in Primary Health Care

Where: MOSAIC, 5575 Boundary Road, Vancouver, BC V5R 2P9

When: Tuesday, July 10 from 9 am to 12 pm

RSVP: Email Kari Kesslar at k.kesslar@shaw.ca.