HSA, PEA welcome decision from LRB protecting labour relations stability in health care

HSA and PEAS logos

The Health Sciences Association (HSA) and Professional Employees Association (PEA), the two unions that represent psychologists and psychometrists in BC's public health care system, welcome yesterday's Labour Relations Board (LRB) decision to deny a BC Nurses' Union (BCNU) application to further destabilize labour relations in BC's hospitals.

The LRB dismissed BCNU's recent application to move some psychologists and psychometrists (testing technicians) into their union – a practice known as raiding. The raiding application followed on a continued campaign by the BCNU to grow its membership by poaching members from other unions.

"The BC Nurses' Union leadership has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to wrestle members out of other unions," said HSA President Val Avery. "It's hurting the relationship between health care professionals and it's wasting the dues provided by hard-working nurses."

"The decision will come to the relief of our members who reported being misled by the BCNU organizers," said PEA Executive Director Scott McCannell.

"Today's decision is a strong message that the BCNU's latest raiding tactics will not be tolerated. This ruling provides stability in the health sector and will ultimately result in better patient care," said McCannell.

The Labour Relations Board found that the application by the BC Nurses Union would result in a proliferation of unions representing health science professionals in the health care system – which would serve to disrupt rather than improve labour relations representation for health care workers at the worksite.

"I have been a member of BC's health care team for more than 30 years. As HSA's president, my focus is on ensuring that team is supported so that they can best serve the patients who count on them every day, instead of defending against another union's predatory organizing tactics that do absolutely nothing to support the more than 70 per cent of working people in BC who do not have the advantage of the support a union contract provides," Avery said.

"We want to thank the other health care unions who serve members in BC's health care system – HEU, CUPE and BCGEU – for intervening in this case and supporting our two unions' work to uphold labour relations practices that promote stable and effective union representation in the public health care system," Avery added.