Bargaining gets underway for new health science professionals contract

Bargaining for a new collective agreement for BCs 17,000 health science professionals got underway today in Vancouver. HSA is the lead union in the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association. (HSPBA)

-Health science professionals are looking for fairness and respect: fair, respectful, and meaningful collective bargaining; and fair recognition of the role health science professionals play in the modern health care system," said HSA President Reid Johnson said in opening the talks with Health Employers Association of BC.

-HSPBAs objective is to arrive at a collective agreement that  optimizes the quality of patient care. We are looking for a contract that properly values the work of health science professionals on the modern health care team, ends the reliance on employees subsidization of optimal deliver of care, and regains and maintains the competitive edge needed to attract and retain the best and the brightest," he said.

HSPBAs chief negotiator Jeanne Meyers said the unions represented in the association ... HSA, BCGEU, CUPE, PEA, and HEU ... are approaching the negotiations with a commitment to achieve improvements for members that help retain and recruit health science professionals who are critical to the success of the modern health care team, but that negotiations will be in a very difficult climate.

-The governments budget released last week grossly under-budgets the needs for growing demands on our health care system. Its clear that the employer is at the table with very little support from government to address a continuing crisis of demand for health care services and recruitment and retention of highly sought-after health science professionals. We are in a challenging bargaining climate, and we are in for a difficult round of negotiations," Meyers said.

After a short introductory meeting today, the parties return to the table tomorrow, and are scheduled to meet through the week.

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