Two weeks scheduled for health science professionals bargaining

In the wake of tentative agreements reached in the master provincial government workers (BCGEU) and nurses bargaining (NBA) contracts, the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) and Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) return to the bargaining table today.

Jeanne Meyers, chief negotiator for the HSPBA, said the bargaining association is optimistic that the tentative agreements achieved at those two tables signals a willingness by government to return to the health science professionals bargaining table with an appetite to bargain.

-Both those tables have achieved tentative agreements under the cooperative gains mandate. And while the nurses agreement includes an attack on benefits that HSA cannot support, the direct government service tentative agreement does not. The HSPBA believes it is possible to get to a deal that does not erode benefits, and will take that message to the table," she said.

Meyers added a significant win in the continuing dispute regarding the application of interim classification modifications agreed to in the 2010-2012 collective agreement should also help kick-start concerted bargaining at the health science professionals table.

Bargaining dates have been set aside for this week and next.

HSPBA represents 17,000 health science professionals working in hospitals and communities throughout BC. Health Sciences Association is the lead union, and members are also represented by CUPE, BCGEU, PEA, and HEU.

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