Update: Interior Health says No Job Action at labs on Monday; Health Science Professionals continue job action (Kelowna)

Thousands of professional workers in the Health Sciences Field right across the province began a series of rotating strikes over the last two days in a bid to put pressure on the government as they bargain for a new collective agreement.Interior Health announced on Saturday afternoon that services at Interior Health laboratories will be limited on Monday, December 10th as a result of continued job action but that Job Action was WITHDRAWN on Sunday, December 9th 2012.All labs affected by the job action will be operating at normalservice levels.

On Thursday, hospital pharmacists across BC took action by reducing their services to what they call "essential services" only.Then on Friday, technologists working in the field of medical imaging (x-rays, CT scans, MRI's, ultrasound, nuclear medicine) began a one day job action.Allen Peters is the Director for Region 8 (which includes the Kelowna Chapter) of the BC Health Sciences Association Union.  "Due to a technical glitch, our members in Kelowna and Penticton did not participate on Friday," says Peters.A handful of people were outside the Interior Health building on Ellis St. in downtown Kelowna handing out leaflets to passers by."We are not stopping anybody from entering any of the facilities; the job action was initiated as a result of an employer who wasn't even showing up to the table to discuss the issues," says Peters, adding, "they were quite content to settle with the BC Nurses Union and to turn around and settle with what they refer to as the facility sector but totally ignoring the Health Sciences Professionals who work side by side with these people."Peters says that a mediator has been brought to meet with both sides over the weekend and if they can't come to some sort of an agreement, the job action would continue into next week."We will continue to keep the pressure on in terms of trying to reach an agreement and as a result of that we will be looking to take out our Laboratory Staff on Monday, down to Essential service levels only," says Peters.Health Sciences Professionals have been without a contract for nine months.