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Contract negotiations

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A little fairness is all we ask

THE REPORT: APRIL 2013

BY REID JOHNSON
PRESIDENT, HSA

As The Report magazine went to press, our community social service members were just voting on their tentative agreement. But for most members, another hard round of bargaining has come to an end.

HSPBA wage increase effective pay period of March 15-28

Following the March 6, 2013 ratification of the HSPBA collective agreement, a wage increase of 2 per cent for all members, excluding pharmacists, will be implemented. This increase is effective the first pay period following ratification, which is the pay period of March 15 to 28. Members are currently receiving pay stubs for the pay period of March 1 to 14. There is no wage increase effective for that period.

Members are encouraged to check their pay stubs to ensure the increases are applied.

RPNs: Continuation of Benefits While Awaiting LTD

Are you a registered psychiatric nurse with a disability date of April 1, 2012 or later? If you have applied for Long Term Disability benefits and are in the LTD waiting period or you are appealing a decision of the LTD carrier, you may be eligible for premium maintenance for Health and Welfare benefits (Medical, Extended Health, Dental, Group Life and AD&D and LTD premiums). In order to be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

Important information for HSA’s registered psychiatric nurses regarding changes to drug coverage under new collective agreement

Further to the 2012-2014 collective agreement between the Nurses’ Bargaining Association and Health Employers’ Association of BC, the parties have agreed to move the effective date for full implementation of the Pharmacare tie-in to June 1, 2013.

The BlueNet direct-pay card will also be implemented June 1, 2013. The BlueNet Card allows direct-pay at the pharmacy for eligible prescriptions, instead of the current system of paying up front, and later submitting receipts for reimbursement.

Liberals' legislation without consultation jeopardizes labour relations stability

The B.C. Liberal government began debate last week on Bill 18, legislation that fundamentally alters bargaining in the health sector.

In a brief opening to the debate in the B.C. legislature, health minister Margaret MacDiarmid claimed the legislation was in line with last year’s raid by the BC Nurses’ Union on Licenced Practical Nurses represented by HEU and other unions. She then flew to Vancouver to announce Bill 18 at the BCNU convention.

Preparations underway for ratification votes in Community Social Services

Representatives of the Community Social Services Bargaining Association met earlier this week to plan for upcoming ratification votes, which will be held between mid-March and the third week of April.

A vote schedule, and a comprehensive report outlining the terms and conditions of the proposed collective agreement, will be made available to members later next week.

In addition to producing written documents detailing the contents of the tentative contract, CSSBA will be holding a one-hour telephone town hall on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

Health science professionals ratify collective agreement

Health science professionals have voted 83 per cent in favour of accepting a new contract that includes wage increases totaling three per cent, and protects the wages of hospital pharmacists who were threatened with wage rollbacks of up to 14 per cent. The agreement was reached between the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) and Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC.)

Social service workers reach tentative deal

Times Colonist (Victoria) 

Workers who care for some of the province's most vulnerable citizens have reached a tentative two-year deal with the B.C. government.

The agreement calls for community social service workers to receive 1.5 per cent wage increases on April 1 and Jan. 1, 2014.

In response to one of the unions' key demands, entry-level workers will get an additional 1.5 per cent hike on April 1.

Union officials had complained that the starting wage in the sector had declined over the past decade to $15.54 an hour from $16.83 in 2002.