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Employers continue to violate collective agreement by making classification changes, HSA charges; arbitration decision to be handed down after November

In spite of the unions cease and desist request and an active arbitration about employers failure to adhere to certain terms and conditions negotiated in the 2010-2012 HSPBA collective agreement, employers continue to implement classification changes.

HSA, on behalf of the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association, charged that HEABC has contravened the collective agreement by failing or refusing to work towards fulfillment of the objectives outlined for the Joint Classification Committee, negotiated in the 2010-2012 collective agreement.

When HSA filed the grievance in November 2011, it advised Health Authorities CEOs to cease and desist from implementing the Interim Classification Modifications negotiated in tandem with the terms and conditions of the Joint Classification Committee. The union believes that Health Authorities are prohibited from implementing any of the interim classification modifications because the right to do so is conditional upon the Classification Committee fulfilling its objectives. The committee has not done so.

The arbitration began in April and is expected to conclude in late November, after which the arbitrators award will be issued.
In the meantime, employers continue to ignore the agreement and push forward with classification changes that affect health science professionals, most recently sweeping changes in the Fraser Health Authority.

Health science professionals affected by their employers classification changes include those in the following scenarios:

  1. A health science professional has been working in a position classified as Grade II on the basis of -working without general supervision."   The employer has downgraded the position to Grade I, asserting that the interim definition of -general supervision" is still operative, such that -All Grade I positions will have access to a supervisor in the Health Authority/Health Organization in their own discipline for clinical guidance where necessary.  Such access does not need to be provided on-site and may be provided in-person or by email, telephone or other means of communication."
  2. The employer has failed to code-up a Grade I HSPs rate of pay to Grade II for any shift where the majority of hours are worked without general supervision, asserting that the interim definition of -general supervision" is still operative.
  3. The employer has failed to code-up a Grade I HSPs rate of pay Grade II for call-backs, asserting that the interim definition of -general supervision" is still operative.
  4. A supervisor is being required to provide clinical guidance to staff where that staff are not counted as FTEs under their supervision, with the employer asserting that the interim definition of -general supervision" is still operative and thus asserting that the supervisor will not, by virtue of providing clinical guidance alone, be classified or coded up to a higher classification.
  5. An employer asserts the interim measure that allows the requirement for each paramedical department to have a Chief Health Science Professional to be suspended is operative.  The employer deletes a Chief Health Science Professional position.

All health science professionals covered by the HSPBA collective agreement who have been affected by their employers implementation of the interim modifications, regardless of whether their position has been red-circled, are asked to contact their steward and to initiate a grievance.

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