BARGAINING UPDATE #10: Tentative agreement for health science professionals

Bargaining Update #10
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The Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association (PPBA) and Health Employers' Association of BC (HEABC) have reached a tentative agreement for a collective agreement that expires March 31, 2006.

The tentative agreement was reached July 15 under the terms of a framework agreement negotiated June 10. Under the terms of the framework agreement, the parties agreed to no net increases or decreases to wages and benefits for the duration of the two-year agreement, and to further discussions on a limited number of key issues.

“The bargaining committee is satisfied that we have achieved the best agreement possible in the current hostile climate created by the government. Health science professionals have been protected from a long list of concessions proposed by the employer,” chief negotiator Ron Ohmart said.

“We have preserved the 36-hour work week. We have also ensured that problems with the bumping process created by Bill 29 will not continue after the expiry of the legislation on Dec. 31, 2005,” he said.

HSA's Board of Directors will meet early next week to review the tentative agreement in detail and make a recommendation on ratifying the agreement. Ratification meetings, where members will have an opportunity to vote on the agreement, will be held in September.

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

- no net increase to wages and benefits

- no changes to health and welfare benefits

- no changes to vacation, sick leave and severance provisions

- retention of the 36-hour work week

- posting language that allows displaced employees access to job opportunities

- bumping language that will come into effect January 1, 2006, upon the expiry of legislation introduced through Bill 29

- administrative issues related to the unions' ability to represent members in the workplace

- contract language housekeeping issues.

Full details about the tentative agreement will be available next week on the HSA web site.

The Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association represents 13,000 health science professionals in the Health Sciences Association of BC, BC Government and Service Employees' Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Professional Employees' Association, and the Hospital Employees' Union .