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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.

Rain can't dampen rally for hospital expansion

Penticton Herald 

More than 100 people didn't let a light rain dampen their enthusiasm for the proposed $300-million expansion of Penticton Regional Hospital.

The placard-waving crowd turned out for Wednesday's outdoor rally next to the hospital, reiterating previous calls for provincial government money for the project. Dozens of passing motorists honked their horns in support.

The rally followed the recent provincial budget, which contained no designated funding towards a new ambulatory care tower at PRH.

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.)

Last Call - Political Action Fund Support

Last call to apply for HSA support to work on the provincial election

HSA members throughout the province who are running for office or working in the upcoming provincial election may apply to HSA for financial support from HSA’s Political Action Fund.

1.     Members who are candidates may apply for up to 30 days of wage replacement and/or up to $200 to cover approved personal expenses incurred to run for office.

Community social services: Tentative deal reached

After a marathon bargaining session of 13 days, the multi-union Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) has reached a tentative collective agreement with the employer.

The two-year proposed agreement includes an across the board wage increase while protecting health and welfare benefits.

Highlights include:

Invitation to participate: Cancer prevention study for shift workers

The Canadian Cancer Society – UBC Cancer Prevention Centre invites HSA members to participate in this study:

Are you a woman who works shifts? You may be eligible to participate in a sleep improvement program that may improve your quality of life, and help reduce breast cancer. Research has shown that women shift workers exposed to light at night are at increased risk for breast cancer.

Disco dancing for men's program

castanet.net 

The public is invited to disco dance for a good cause in Penticton on Thursday night. The South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society is holding SOVAS Goes Disco to benefit its financially challenged men's counselling program.

“We are desperate for funding to keep this going,” said Amberlee Erdmann, resource development coordinator for SOVAS. “Our hope is the community comes together to support our men's counselling program by having a fun night.”

Government tables budget at the expense of health services for BC

The bulk of savings announced in the Liberal government's last-ditch attempt to convince British Columbians they can present a balanced budget is coming out of the health care system, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said today in releasing the Liberal government's last budget before this spring's election.

"If you reduce spending in health care, you reduce services to British Columbians. It's that simple," said Reid Johnson, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC, the union representing 17,000 members of the modern health care team.