HSPBA Bargaining Update – Wage proposal on track to be tabled next week

As news emerged today of an impasse in public sector bargaining between the provincial government and its direct employees over wages, the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) is preparing to table a wage proposal for health science professionals next week that addresses staff shortages, the rising cost of living, and closes the wage gap between BC and other provinces.

BCGEU, the union representing direct government employees, announced today that after nine weeks of talks it will take a break from bargaining to focus on negotiating essential services levels required to keep necessary government services running in the event of a strike or lockout, and preparing to take a strike vote to back contract demands. The break in bargaining was precipitated by the failure of the government to table a wage package that protects government workers from the skyrocketing cost of living in British Columbia.

HSPBA’s bargaining committee has been in active contract negotiations with the Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC) since March 1, and is scheduled to pause for a break at the end of next week. The union Bargaining Committee has to date made proposals addressing a number of priorities identified by members, including occupational health and safety matters related to workload, discrimination and harassment, facilitation of health sector-wide action on OHS issues, and classification proposals addressing concerns with employer-wide initiatives.

The Bargaining Committee is also committed to addressing colonial features of the collective agreement. In the current round of talks, the Bargaining Committee is tabling equity and inclusion initiatives as well as removing colonial language.

HSA and other unions covered by HSPBA has been actively negotiating essential services levels since January, and is watching developments at other public sector bargaining tables closely. A number of public sector agreements expired on March 31, 2022.

HSA continues to work in close collaboration with our allies in other unions to achieve fair contracts for all workers who have been on the frontlines of protecting and serving British Columbians through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the opioid and climate catastrophes.

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