HSA establishes Adjustment Plan Committee following VCHA laboratory redesign announcement


The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has notified HSA that it has developed recommendations for a redesign of laboratory services.

The VCHA has stated that its proposals will result in changes to the VCHA sites or transfers between the sites, impacting staffing levels, shift rotations, full-time equivalents, and required skill mix. However, the health authority has indicated that they will work with HSA to minimize the "involuntary" impact on staff.

The health authority announced its redesign plans to laboratory staff in meetings held today, September 20. The employer's project team has reviewed its laboratory structures and practices, with the goal of developing an operational structure to provide a common laboratory service throughout the health authority. VCHA says their changes will initially impact the laboratories of Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, and Richmond Hospital.

HSA is establishing an Adjustment Plan Committee consisting of laboratory stewards from those four facilities and Kathy McLennan and Dawn Adamson from the HSA office. The committee will meet regularly with the employer's representatives to discuss strategies such as alternatives to the proposed changes, human resource planning, employee counselling and retraining, severance pay, entitlement to pension and other benefits.

The VCHA is re-designing laboratory services in response to an announcement made by the Ministry of Health that it plans to tender all outpatient laboratory services. VCHA says they want to be in the best fiscal and organizational position to submit a winning bid, and they believe their redesign will position VCHA as an efficient and competitive provider of laboratory services.

HSA's committee will hold its first meeting on September 23rd and will meet with the employer's committee the following week. More information will be provided to members as it becomes available. Please watch your union notice board and this web site for further updates.