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Mediated talks break down

Paramedical professionals to begin job action Monday, January 11

Mediated talks between the Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association and the Health Employers' Association of BC broke down this afternoon after the employer presented a revised proposal that fails to address the unions' key bargaining issues and still contains significant concession demands.

More than 10,000 paramedical professionals will begin job action on Monday, January 11.

"We regret this action is necessary," says chief negotiator Rick Lampshire. "We were hopeful that with an extra day of mediation we would be able to break through this impasse. Unfortunately the employer's most recent position fails to address the issues of on-call, long-term disability and parity for community-based paramedical professionals. And it still contains a major attack on the current classification system and our hours of work."

Lampshire says the bargaining association has re-issued 72-hour strike notice and will commence an overtime ban at 3:00 p.m. on Monday. Starting Tuesday, January 12, the unions will also begin "Paramedical Professional Days" that will see a different group of paramedical professionals go to essential service levels for one day each from Tuesday to Friday. On Saturday, January 16 and Sunday, January 17 all paramedical professionals across BC will go to essential services. There will be no picket lines at this time but picket lines could go up if next week's action does not result in a fair contract.

To demonstrate how disruptive on-call is to the lives of health care professionals, all paramedical professionals will also call their administrators every time they are called in to work, regardless of the time of day.

"We have made significant efforts to accommodate the employers' need for greater flexibility and we have agreed to their wage package of zero, zero and two. It is outrageous that the employer expects our members to accept concession demands and simply walk away from our priority issues."

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, respiratory therapists, preschool teachers, community mental health professionals, social workers, dietitians, health record administrators, alcohol and drug counsellors, speech and language pathologists and public health inspectors.

The Health Sciences Association of BC (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

"Paramedical Professional Days"

DAY 1 - Tuesday, January 12
Rehabilitation therapists across BC will go to essential service levels. This includes: physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and respiratory therapists. All other paramedical professionals report to work as usual.

DAY 2 - Wednesday, January 13
Dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, health records administrators, psychologists and counsellors will go to essential service levels. All other paramedical professionals report to work as usual.

DAY 3 - Thursday, January 14
Paramedical professionals who work in diagnostic imaging will go to essential service levels. This includes radiology, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, CT and MRI. All other paramedical professionals report to work as usual.

DAY 4 - Friday, January 15
Paramedical professionals who work in laboratories, including lab technologists, will go to essential service levels. All other paramedical professionals report to work as usual.

DAYS 5 and 6 - Saturday, January 16 and Sunday, January 17
All paramedical professionals across BC will go to essential service levels.

Facilities not affected by job action

The following facilities will be exempted from all job action, except the overtime ban:

  • BC Women's Hospital
  • BC Children's Hospital
  • BC Cancer Agency (all sites)
  • Sunnyhill Hospital for Children
  • Canadian Blood Services
  • Gold River Health Centre
  • 100 Mile District Hospital
  • Child Development Centres/Infant Development Programs
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