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Paramedical professionals return to the bargaining table

The Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association announced this afternoon that they will return to the bargaining table Friday, January 15. The announcement came in response to a request by Labour Minister Dale Lovick that the unions and employers return the table with Mediator Brian Foley.

"We have agreed to continue mediated talks," said Cindy Stewart, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC. "We have also agreed to Mr. Foley's request that we not escalate job action next week, as long as we are making progress at the bargaining table."

Stewart says the unions will continue the job action planned for Friday and the weekend but will not escalate to picket lines on Monday.

Instead, the unions will resume "Paramedical Professional Days" which will see a different group of paramedical professionals go to essential service levels for one day each next week. Paramedical professionals will also continue their ban on overtime.

"We are hopeful that this next round of talks will result in a fair contract for our members," says Stewart. "We've been in negotiations for more than ten months and our members want to get back to what they do best -- delivering high quality health care to British Columbians."

Talks between the Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association and the Health Employers' Association of BC broke down January 8 after the employer presented a revised package that contained significant concession demands and failed to address the unions' key bargaining 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, pre-school teachers, community mental health professionals, social workers, dietitians, 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 bargaining association, which also includes representatives from five other unions.

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

Paramedical Professional Job Action: January 15-21

Friday, January 15
Paramedical professionals who work in laboratories, including lab technologists, will provide only essential services. In addition, paramedical professionals at the BC Cancer Agency will provide only essential services.

Saturday, January 16 & Sunday, January 17
All paramedical professionals across the province will provide only essential services.

Monday, January 18
Rehabilitation therapists will provide only essential services. This includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and respiratory therapists. All other paramedical professionals report to work as usual.

Tuesday, January 19
Dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, health records administrators, psychologists and counsellors will provide only essential services. All other paramedical professionals report to work as usual.

Wednesday, January 20
Paramedical professional who work in diagnostic imaging will provide only essential services. This includes radiology, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, CT and MRI. All other paramedical professionals report to work as usual.

Thursday, January 21
Paramedical professionals who work in laboratories, including lab technologists, will provide only essential services. All other paramedical professionals report to work as usual. 

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