MLAs not the only ones who deserve wage increase


HSA President Cindy Stewart has written to Premier Gordon Campbell calling on the government to apply the same factors and considerations that led to a 15 per cent wage increase for MLAs to the governments preparations for setting a wage mandate for other public sector workers, including the health care and community social services workers represented by HSA.

-I understand that in arriving at the 15 per cent increase, Members of the Legislative Assembly considered a number of factors, including how compensation for B.C. MLAs compares to that of elected officials in other provinces and that a major factor in the decision was a desire to keep pace with similar people doing similar work across the country.

-These are some of the same issues the Health Sciences Association of B.C. considers in the development of bargaining positions on behalf of the 12,000 health science professionals, community health care, and community social service workers we represent," she said in her letter.

Stewart pointed out that competitive wages will be an important consideration when HSA goes to the bargaining table in the coming months to renegotiate contracts that expire March 31, 2006.

-As the lead union in the Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association, HSA has ... since the beginning of your governments mandate ... made every effort at every opportunity to educate your government about the important issues facing the health science professionals who provide the clinical, diagnostic and rehabilitation services in our public health care system. The evidence shows that many of those professionals have not kept up with their counterparts across the country.

-I expect that when your government sets its wage mandate for the upcoming rounds of bargaining with public sector workers, that you will give the same consideration to these important issues as you and your fellow Members of the Legislature have given in arriving at the compensation levels provided in Bill 17," she said.

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