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Bargaining association recommends acceptance of mediator's report

British Columbia's 10,000 paramedical professionals will be urged to vote in favour of Mediator Brian Foley's report recommending terms of settlement for a collective agreement between the Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association and the Health Employers' Association of BC.

Cindy Stewart, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC (HSA) which represents approximately 90 per cent of paramedical professionals, says the bargaining association has concluded that Mr. Foley's report is fair and balanced.

"While this report does not go as far as we had hoped, we are pleased that Mr. Foley has addressed all of the proposals put forward by the bargaining association," says Stewart. "In particular, this report goes a long way toward addressing important issues such as compensation for on-call, long-term disability and parity for community-based paramedical professionals. These changes are absolutely critical in order to keep pace the ever-changing health care landscape.

"Overall, we feel Mr. Foley did a very good job of balancing the needs of health care professionals and the constraints faced by health employers."

Stewart says the report will be sent to union members next week. HSA's ratification votes will take place February 22-25, 1999.

"We appreciate the difficult task that Mr. Foley faced," adds Stewart. "We want to thank him for his assistance, and we especially want to thank the public for their support and patience during this dispute. We look forward to returning to what we do best - delivering high quality health care to British Columbians."

The Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association represents over 10,000 health care professionals across the province, including: lab technologists, x-ray technologists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiation therapists, respiratory therapists, pre-school teachers, community mental health professionals, social workers, dietitians, health records administrators, alcohol and drug counsellors, speech and language pathologists and public health inspectors.

HSA is the lead union in the Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association. Also represented are the BC Government Employees Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Professional Employees Association, Hospital Employees Union, and United Food and Commercial Workers.

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For more information contact:
Rebecca Maurer, Director of Communications
(604) 439-0994

Highlights of Mediator Brian Foley's report

  • A wage package of 0-0 and 2 per cent over a three-year contract
  • Increase in on-call pay from $1.25 to $2.00/hour effective April 1, 1999
  • $6 million to create a new long-term disability plan to be administered by the Health Benefits Trust
  • Full levelling for community-based paramedical professionals as of April 1, 1999
  • No concessions in the area of classifications
  • Improved language to protect hours of work
  • Improvements to health and welfare benefits
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