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HSA donates $10,000 for tsunami relief; $5,000 to British Columbia food banks

The Health Sciences Association of BC has donated $10,000 to Oxfam Canada's Tsunami Relief Fund to assist with relief efforts in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami that hit Southeast Asia on Boxing Day. The donation brings the total contribution of National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)-affiliated unions across Canada to date to almost $150,000.

Fix health care, don't privatize it, activists demand

NUPGE among groups defending public medicare at historic summit

Ottawa - Defenders of public medicare, including the National Union of Public and General Employees, and HSA President Cindy Stewart rallied Monday as Prime Minister Paul Martin and the first ministers began a three-day historic summit on the future of health care in Canada.

Their message to the country's top leaders can be summed up in one short slogan: "Fix! Don't privatize health care." The three-day meeting is the first open, televised meeting by Canada's heads of government since the 1980s.

Contracting out of MRIs to shorten lists a case of bad planning says health union

The decision by the Fraser Health Authority to send patients to private MRI clinics shows that the BC government has failed to plan for long-term health care needs, says Cindy Stewart, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC.

While Stewart acknowledges the health authority is trying to resolve an immediate problem, she says that a long-term strategy is required to avoid similar back-logs in the future.

Health professionals call on First Ministers to tackle crisis of staff shortages

Ottawa - An organization representing 60,000 diagnostic, clinical, rehabilitation, pharmacy and other health science professionals today called on Canada's First Ministers to take immediate action to address the growing shortage of health professionals in Canada.

"The solution to reducing wait times begins with ensuring an adequate and stable supply of health professionals," says Cindy Stewart, Co-chair of the Canadian Health Professionals Secretariat (CHPS).

Canadians want Ottawa to police health care spending

Most citizens disagree with Alberta Premier Ralph Klein's demand that Ottawa give provinces money with no strings attached

Ottawa - On the eve of the First Ministers meeting on health care, a strong majority of Canadians in every region ... including Alberta ... disagree with Alberta premier Ralph Kleins opposition to conditions being imposed on new federal health care funding to the provincial governments.

NBA, HEABC strike framework agreement

The Nurses' Bargaining Association has reached a Framework Agreement with the Health Employers Association of BC, which stipulates how bargaining discussions will be conducted this summer.
Aimed at bringing stability to BCs health sector, the agreement states that there will be no rollbacks in nurses' hourly rates, benefits or time off provisions and that there will be no increase in total compensation.

HSA calls on government to change approach to health care bargaining

The Health Sciences Association, the union representing 12,000 health science professionals who provide the diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation services in the public health care system, welcomed the deal hammered out over the weekend to force the government to step back from its attack on health support workers.

"It has been a very tense weekend as British Columbians' support for health support workers and anger at the Liberal government continued to grow in leaps and bounds," HSA President Cindy Stewart said.

Community social services workers vote to accept new collective agreement.

NEARLY 15,000 community social services workers represented by 13 unions have ratified new collective agreements. Workers voted 66 percent to accept the new agreement in community living; 69 percent in general services.

The two-year contracts provide for continuity of service for B.C.s most vulnerable citizens and protects workers jobs in exchange for about $40 million in cost containment and concessions.