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Health science professionals open contract negotiations February 27

Health science professionals are scheduled to begin negotiations for a new collective agreement next week.

HSA President Reid Johnson said health science professionals will be looking for strong indications early on that government and its bargaining agent, Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC), are prepared to address fundamental issues.

-HSA members served notice at the beginning of this year that continuing to fall behind our counterparts in other provinces is not an option. What HSA members are looking for in this round of bargaining is 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," he said.

The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Associations (HSPBA) chief negotiator, Jeanne Meyers, said all the signals coming from HEABC and the government ... including HEABCs refusal to undertake meaningful work in a number of areas negotiated in the last collective agreement, HEABCs arbitrary wage rollback announcement for pharmacists, the governments announced mandate of freezing wages, and a health care budget that doesnt keep up with inflation ... is that HEABC and the government have limited interest in arriving at a negotiated agreement.

-HSA will enter into the collective bargaining process with a commitment to the process, but, frankly, if we dont see signs from government and HEABC that there is an appetite for free collective bargaining, we are not interested in participating in a farce," Meyers said.

HSA stewards and staff are currently involved in negotiating essential service levels. Essential services are a legislative requirement to create a balance between workers rights to strike, and the need to protect the public from -immediate and serious danger." In health care, essential service levels ensure there is staff available during a labour dispute to ensure patients are not in immediate or serious danger.

HSPBA represents 17,000 members, the majority of whom are represented by HSA.  Other unions at the table are CUPE, BCGEU, PEA, and HEU.

HSAs member representatives to the HSPBA bargaining committee are:

  • Val Avery (Board of Directors), Committee Co-Chair, Physiotherapist, Victoria General Hospital
  • Kimball Finigan (Board of Directors), Committee Co-Chair, Radiation Therapist, BC Cancer Agency
  • Cheryl Greenhalgh, Medical Radiation Technologist, Royal Columbian Hospital
  • Edith MacHattie, Occupational Therapist, Centre For Child Development (Surrey)
  • Denise Sylvest, Physiotherapist, Castlegar Community Health Centre and Talarico Place

Alternates to the bargaining committee are: Brendan Shields (Board of Directors), Music Therapist, Richmond Hospital; Candis Johnson, Supported Child Care Consultant, Child Development Centre of Prince George, and Rick Lascelle, Respiratory Therapist, Ridge Meadows Hospital.

For regular bargaining updates, check the HSA website at www.hsabc.org, or follow us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/HSABC, or Twitter account: @hsabc.

It's important for HSA to be able to contact you.  Please make sure your contact information is current.

• Log in on HSA's website at http://www.hsabc.org/members/login.php

You can view or update the contact information we have on file for you.  You can also sign up to receive news bulletins directly to your email inbox.

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