Stewards uncover dues going to other unions



Diligent work by an HSA steward has resulted in a cheque for several hundred dollars for at least one member. is someone you work with next?

Val Barker, chief steward for Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, discovered some of the RPNs working there were paying dues to BCNU – not HSA.

Barker first realized that administrative errors were mistakenly assigning RPNs to BCNU instead of HSA about a year ago.

"As the chief steward, nurses would come to me to ask about being in a union," says Barker.

"They'd ask which union they were in and I'd explain that as an RPN they should be in HSA. But when we looked at their pay stubs they were paying dues to BCNU."

Since then, Barker has found four members paying dues to the wrong union at her worksite, and thinks there could be more.

The error, turns out to be worth quite a lot of money for HSA members. That's because BCNU dues are 2 per cent – 0.4 per cent higher than dues paid by HSA members.

HSA's 0.4 per cent advantage adds up. For example, an HSA member making $80,000 a year saves $300 in dues every year.

So far, one member has already received a cheque for the difference, and HSA is pursuing a correction for the others. Barker says that one member – who has been mistakenly paying dues to BCNU for five years – can expect a very large cheque when the error is corrected.


Members can look at their pay stub to see which union is receiving their dues. But if you're reading this issue of The Report, you're almost certainly paying dues to HSA, not BCNU. That's because this magazine is mailed out to all members in our database, and if you're in our database you're dues are being processed correctly.
But what about your colleagues?

Stewards like Barker are now checking carefully with RPNs at their worksites to make sure they're not paying too much, to the wrong union. You can help – talk to any RPNs you work with to let them know about this problem and encourage them to look at their pay stubs.

Be sure to notify human resources staff if any errors are found – and let HSA know too. In several cases HR departments have neglected to make the correction even after they've been notified, and HSA can help make they take timely action on behalf of members.