Tentative agreement for 11,000 HSAA members in Alberta

Three-year proposal contains increases totalling at least 14.5%, plus lump sum payments, new flexible spending accounts and improved benefits

Edmonton (9 July 2008) - The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) is conducting a ratification vote on a tentative three-year agreement affecting more than 11,000 paramedical professional and technical employees across the province.

Full ratification information will be mailed to members this week. Ballots must be returned by July 31. The votes will be counted at the union's Edmonton headquarters on Aug. 1.

The HSAA bargaining committee, and the union's board of directors, are recommending acceptance.

"Our negotiators have worked diligently on behalf of our members, which is reflected in the gains we have made for them in this tentative agreement," says HSAA president Elisabeth Ballermann.

The proposal provides for salary increases of 5% in the first year, 5% in the second year and 4.5% or the Alberta Average Weekly Earnings (whichever is higher) in the third year. The deal also provides lump sum payments of $2,500 in year one and $2,250 in year two along with improved benefits.

Members covered by the agreement will also enjoy a new flexible spending account (FSA), which will provide them with $2,500 on January 1, 2009, and will increase to $2,750 January 1, 2010. The FSA can be used for professional development, wellness, health expenditures, RRSP contributions or child and elder care.

"We're confident our members will be pleased with the monetary strides we've made on their behalf," says HSAA Senior Negotiator Kerry Woollard.

Members seeking additional information are urged to atend one ov several meetings planned on these dates: July 21 in Edmonton; July 22 in Red Deer and Medicine Hat; July 23 in Calgary; July 24 in Lethbridge and Grande Prairie. Details will be posted on the HSAA website. NUPGE

Web posted by NUPGE: 9 July 2008