HSA and Vancouver Coastal Health agree on adjustment plan for lab redesign

HSA - VCHA (Joint Bulletin)


HSA and VCHA are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached on a without prejudice basis, for a number of measures designed to mitigate the impact of laboratory restructuring. Restructuring will occur in the laboratories at Lions Gate Hospital, Richmond Hospital, Vancouver Hospital - 12th and Oak Pavilions, and Vancouver Hospital - UBC Pavilions.

The VCHA's objective is to meet its workforce reduction target through attrition, to the greatest extent possible.

To that end, the parties have scheduled a series of meetings to explain the "Voluntary Canvass/Expression of Interest". Meeting times and locations will be publicized as soon as locations are finalized. The purpose of the canvass is to identify opportunities to create vacancies to be used to avoid displacements. Voluntary options include a labour adjustment incentive (ranging from a benefit of 8 to 20 weeks salary), a phased retirement initiative (of up to 1 year), job-sharing, transfer and others. If an application is approved by VCHA, an offer is made for the employee's consideration.

The canvass will also be conducted at the laboratories at Pemberton Health Clinic, Powell River General Hospital, St. Mary's Sechelt, and Squamish General Hospital, for the same purpose.

A process has also been developed for filling the reorganized positions. Some positions will be assigned, some are limited to competition between incumbents, and some will be posted - either at just the four sites undergoing restructuring or at all eight VCHA sites listed in this bulletin. In some cases, first consideration will be given to affected employees in positions Grade 3 or higher.

The VCHA will then identify those employees whose positions remain to be deleted, and will issue displacement notices to those employees. The VCHA will not issue layoff notices to laboratory employees prior to January 2005.

The parties adopted a bumping process for the purposes of implementing the changes at the four sites undergoing restructuring. The process is described in the adjustment plan, and is to be used by employees who have been issued displacement notice.

Training opportunities are subject to operational requirements and will be offered on a priority basis where it serves to avoid the layoff of an employee who has seniority over another employee.

Wage protection is provided, subject to certain requirements concerning bumping. Please refer to point #10 of the adjustment plan for full details.

The salary structures for certain positions have also been established.

The laboratories at the four hospitals will operate as one operational unit for the purposes of application of the Collective Agreement, except as otherwise provided in the adjustment plan.
The seniority lists of all technologists in the four laboratories will be merged into one list by dovetailing.

The full text of the adjustment plan will be available at the meetings to explain the Voluntary Canvass.

HSA members may direct their questions to Dawn Adamson or Kathy McLennan at the HSA Office at 604.439.0994 or 1.800.663.2017.

Vancouver Coastal Health contacts for further information are: Ricki Kruger at 604.875.4198 and Judith Bowen at 604.875.4251.