Bargaining Update #5: Parties discuss non-monetary issues

Bargaining Update #5

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Unions' priorities include fair bumping and job posting processes

The Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association (PPBA) and Health Employers' Association of B.C. (HEABC) engaged in three days of productive bargaining this week. The parties continued dealing with non-monetary issues, including job postings, bumping and the rights of displaced employees to access work.

-These are very complex issues that require a balancing of competing interests," said Ron Ohmart, Chief Negotiator for the PPBA. -Our goal is to create a collective agreement that provides health science professionals with mobility and opportunities for advancement, but also protects members who are caught up in the never-ending restructuring occurring in health care."

Bill 29 and the restrictions it imposes on bumping expire December 31, 2005. The parties are discussing what sort of bumping process should go into effect January 1, 2006. A fair bumping process is one of the PPBA's key bargaining demands.

-While nothing has been resolved at this stage, the employers' committee is showing a willingness to discuss the issues, and there has been a useful exploration of both parties' needs and interests," said Ohmart. -I'm hopeful that we will be able to achieve a fair bumping process to take effect when Bill 29 expires."

Bargaining is scheduled to resume April 6 and 7 in Vancouver .

The Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association represents approximately 13,000 health science professionals who are members of the Health Sciences Association, BC Government and Service Employees' Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Professional Employees' Association, and the Hospital Employees' Union .