BARGAINING UPDATE #7: Framework agreement reached for health science professionals

Bargaining Update #7

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The Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association has reached a framework agreement with HEABC that will remove the employers' concession demands from the bargaining table and create a climate for constructive negotiation of a number of contract issues, including posting and bumping language, hours of work and recruitment and retention.

Under the terms of the framework agreement, there will be no net increase to wages and benefits for the duration of the two-year agreement, which expires March 31, 2006.

"This agreement protects health science professionals from a long list of concession demands proposed by employers. It also protects members from rollbacks to wages and benefits," Chief Negotiator Ron Ohmart said.

The terms of the agreement mean that health science professionals covered by the PPBA agreement will not see any changes in the collective agreement that would adversely affect health and welfare benefits, vacation, sick leave and severance.

"Given the current climate set by the provincial government, I am pleased that HEABC was able to work with the union bargaining association to develop an agreement that protects wages and benefits and paves the way for discussion about issues important to the delivery of quality health care."

Under the terms of the agreement, a number of issues have been set aside for further discussion. The discussion will be limited to the following issues:

  • administrative issues related to the unions' ability to represent members in the workplace
  • bumping and posting language
  • long-term disability
  • hours of work
  • adequate off-duty hours for those providing on-call services
  • classification issues
  • mileage
  • recruitment and retention
  • contract language housekeeping issues

Discussion on all these issues is to be concluded by July 30, 2004, unless both parties mutually agree to continue. If agreement is reached on any issues, the two parties agree to recommend that the April 1, 2001 - March 31, 2004 collective agreement be rolled over, including any changes on the agreed-to items.

If there is no agreement on the issues, the recommendation to members will be for a straight rollover of the 2001-2004 collective agreement.

The text of the framework agreement is available for download (see below), and is being distributed to HSA stewards for posting on union bulletin boards.

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

Letter of agreement between the Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association and HEABC (PDF file - 584 KB)