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Extended health benefit plans now include tele- and virtual health options

April 1, 2020
Coverage rules have changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic The HBT team is working closely with Pacific Blue Cross to ensure employees have accessto Tele-Health and Virtual services to support ongoing care during COVID-19 social distancing initiatives. NEW FOR EMPLOYEES: Reimbursement for Tele-Physiotherapy and Tele-Chiropractic TreatmentReimbursement is available to ALL employees who receive benefits:

Strong majority want government to halt rent, mortgage, and utility payments during COVID-19 crisis

April 1, 2020
It's clear that Canadians believe more help is required to ensure no one goes without housing or is financially gutted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Research Co., on behalf of the Natonal Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), its Component, the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) and North99, conducted its first poll on this subject since the COVID-19 crisis began. The results demonstrate that people support new measures to protect them financially:

Joint statement on the suspension of the direct patient care staffing process

April 1, 2020
The 2019-2022 Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) Collective Agreement includes a provision (Article 60) that requires health authorities (HA) and Providence Health Care (PHC) to implement a direct patient care staffing assessment process.

Nurses getting a premium wage for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. What about the rest of the health care team?

March 31, 2020
The “working short” premium, negotiated for nurses in the last round of bargaining, has been reworked in a deal between the BC Nurses Union and the employer to pay nurses a premium during the COVID-19 pandemic at least through to the end of April, if not longer.  The working short premium was intended to be a penalty on employers who did not have enough nurses on shift as needed. The intent was for employers to address staffing shortages within a year, and to apply the wage premium only in cases where they were unable to provide appropriate staffing.

Worksite preference website re-opened for 6-10 p.m. tonight, Monday March 20

March 27, 2020
  **UPDATED MARCH 30 4 PM: WORKSITE PREFERENCE WEBSITE REOPENS TONIGHT 6-10 PM FOR EMPLOYEES WHO WERE UNABLE TO REGISTER OVER WEEKEND** The Provincial Health Officer has ordered that movement between worksites by health care workers must be limited to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the current pandemic.

Important information for community social services workers re: Essential Services and Single Site Order

March 27, 2020
  To: HSA members working in community social services From: HSA and Community Social Services Bargaining Associaton On March 26, 2020 the BC Government used their extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act, to issue ministerial orders to ensure a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic across all levels of government.  These orders have direct implications for workers in the Community Social Services Sector. 

Help is on the way for health care workers who need child care

March 27, 2020
Starting the evening of March 26, Health Authority Employers have begun to survey employees about their child care needs starting next Monday, March 30. Check your employer email for details. To date, HSA is aware of processes in VIHA and PHSA. Contact your employer for details on how to register your child care needs. Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix recognize the need for health care and other front line workers to get to work to provide the services British Columbians depend on.

URGENT: Important information for HSA members working in long term care

March 27, 2020
  TO: HSA members working in Long Term Care In an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in BC’s hard-hit Long Term Care facilities, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued two province-wide orders aimed at restricting movement of health care staff between Long Term Care facilities. The orders went into effect yesterday, Thursday March 26, 2020

Government commits to continue community social services program funding

March 20, 2020
Amidst the worldwide uncertainty about what is coming at us in the coming days and weeks, HSA is pleased to share with HSA members working in BC's community social services sector that the provincial government has committed to continue funding programs. CSSEA reported late this afternoon on its website that the government has reinforced its funding commitment to the social services sector in light of potential disruptions caused by COVID-19. From the CSSEA website:

Health care workers need protection during pandemic: NUPGE and HSABC release new research showing higher precautions recommended

March 19, 2020
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and Health Sciences Association of BC (HSA) released today a research paper focused on respiratory protection for health workers caring for COVID-19 patients. “Health care workers around the world are reporting that personal protective equipment guidelines are inconsistent and in short supply. As this pandemic hits our health care system in Canada, the priority must be to keep our health care workers healthy so they can provide the care patients need,” said NUPGE President Larry Brown.