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Heart surgery cancellations a clear message that shortages in health science professions can no longer be ignored by BC government

News of heart surgery cancellations in Vancouver this week unfortunately doesnt come as a surprise to the Health Sciences Association of BC, and the union is calling for immediate action by the Ministry of Health to address the shortages responsible for a long-standing and continuing weakness in health authorities ability to provide critical services for very ill patients.

Contract talks covering BCs modern health care professionals set to resume in August; work continues on classifications grievance

Bargaining discussions between the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) and Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) for a new collective agreement for BCs health science professionals will resume at the end of August.

HSPBA Chief Negotiator Jeanne Meyers said the delay in bargaining is disappointing. The collective agreement, like many public sector collective agreements, expired on March 31, 2011.

HSA calls for consultation before Chilliwack General Hospitals rehab unit closure

The union representing rehabilitation therapists at Chilliwack General Hospital is joining community leaders in calling for consultation before the hospitals rehab unit is unilaterally closed.

The Health Sciences Association represents physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and other rehab specialists across BC, including at Chilliwack General Hospital.

HSA President Reid Johnson said a unilateral closure of the rehab unit is a big blow to the community. He questioned how the new plan for Fraser Health therapy services was developed.

HSA achieves agreement to settle 135 classification grievances

HSA has resolved a long-standing classification dispute with HEABC that involved 135 grievances and affected many more HSA members working in counselling professions.

-The settlement agreement provides a continuing, consistent approach to classifying these jobs, which is important for ensuring that health science professionals receive fair compensation for their scope of responsibility" Kathy McLennan, HSA Membership Services Coordinator, said.

A victory for pharmacists

The Report: June 2012 vol.33 num.2

HSA AND ITS PHARMACIST MEMBERS have forced the government to back down on a plan to slash salaries for pharmacists by up to 14 per cent.

The plan, announced without warning in January, would have eliminated a market adjustment for pharmacists introduced in 2006 to address chronic issues of recruitment and retention.

HSA immediately met with representatives of the pharmacist members and on January 18 invited all pharmacist members to participate in a province-wide telephone town hall meeting.

HEABC still not ready to defend refusal to implement contract; arbitration delayed

After months of preparation, the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) appeared before arbitrator John Hall Monday to argue an application for interim relief in a policy grievance that alleges HEABC is in contravention of the 2010-2012 HSPBA collective agreement for failing or refusing to work towards the objectives agreed to in bargaining.

Lower Mainland lab services consolidation: an update

HSA continues to advocate on behalf of Lower Mainland laboratory technologists affected by the employers plans to consolidate services under one health authority.

HSA met with the employer in a Section 54 meeting last Thursday, April 4. The employer has advised that they intend to transfer employment of all lab technologists to the Provincial Health Services Authority in the fall of 2012. However, the employer has not provided any information on plans for the transfer.

Second round of professional development funding applications now being accepted for health science professionals in HSA

The 2010-2012 HSPBA collective agreement includes a Letter of Agreement ... Re: Professional Development Fund ... which provided for a $450,000 Professional Development Fund for use by all HSPBA members, including members represented by unions other than HSA, over the term of the collective agreement.

After the first round of applications last winter, the fund is not yet spent, and HSA members are again invited to apply for professional development funding for courses to be taken between April 1 and December 31, 2012.

Health science professionals contract discussions continue

Bargaining at the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association table continues to make slow but steady progress, HSPBA Chief Negotiator Jeanne Meyers reported today.

Like most public sector union contracts in the province, the agreement expired March 31, 2012.

-At the outset of bargaining, we said HSA is committed to the process, but that if we didnt see signs from employers that there was an appetite for meaningful discussion about contract issues important to health science professionals, we would not have a lot of patience for the process," Meyers said.