More tricks and no treats for health science professionals

The government announced today through the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) that bargaining a fair collective agreement for health science professionals ... who have been without a contract since April 2012 ... is not on the agenda.

The day after the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) tabled a framework agreement that includes a modest wage increase, HEABC returned to the table, explaining its hands are tied by the Ministry of Health, which refuses to apply the governments cooperative gains mandate for meaningful bargaining at the table.

-Yesterday, we tabled a framework agreement. It is a fair and reasonable proposal and completely in line with the governments mandate ... evidenced by the 3- and 4- per cent wage increases agreed to in several public sector agreements ... including direct government service and nurses," saiod HSPBA's chief negotiator Jeanne Meyers.

-We have been working for more than seven months on a number of complex issues to try to work cooperatively with the government to address critical shortages in health science professions, and today HEABC delivered the message that while they view the work as productive, they do not have a mandate to bargain with health science professionals," she said.

Last week, bargaining association representatives took the unusual step of going to Victoria to meet directly with senior Ministry of Health officials to deliver the message directly that health science professionals deserve an equitable and fair agreement and that its time for some real bargaining.

-Clearly, the ministry wasnt interested, and sent HEABC back to deliver that message," Meyers said.

The bargaining association will consider next steps and report to members later this week.

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