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Wage increase a top priority for health science professionals

HSA's PPBA Bargaining Committee members. Front: Charlene Chen. 2nd row (l-r) Bruce MacDonald, Mandi Ayers, Dawn Adamson, Cindy Stewart. 3rd row (l-r) Mark Zarembo, Joan Magee, Ernie Hilland. Back row (l-r) Ron Ohmart, Val Avery, Allen Peters.

Health Science Professionals play an essential role in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of health care patients and they deserve a contract that recognizes their value.

Thats the message from members of the Health Sciences Association of BC following HSAs three-day bargaining conference in Vancouver. HSA represents 12,000 health science professionals across the province.

-Health care is not just about doctors and nurses," says HSA president Cindy Stewart. -Patients have increasingly complex health care needs which require the services of a highly specialized team of health science professionals.

-With higher acuity levels and an ageing population, our members are being asked to do more every day. After years of legislated contracts and frozen wages, they want a collective agreement that reflects the education, skills and training they bring to the job."

Stewart said delegates identified a number of key priorities for bargaining, including:

  • Competitive wages that will help recruit and retain health science professionals in BC
  • Rectifying the wage inequities imposed by the government in 2001
  • Improved health and welfare benefits
  • Increased opportunities for education and professional development
  • Better conditions for those who work on-call

Stewart says delegates to the bargaining conference debated hundreds of proposals but were able to streamline their demands to give the bargaining committee a clear mandate for negotiations. HSA is committed to meeting the governments deadline of March 31, 2006 to have public sector contracts settled. To meet that goal, four weeks of bargaining have been scheduled with the Health Employers Association of BC starting February 13, 2006.

HSA will be represented at the bargaining table by chief negotiator, Ron Ohmart and labour relations officer, Dawn Adamson as well as the following elected representatives:

Ernie Hilland, Cytotechnologist, BC Cancer Agency ...Vancouver (Chair), Joan Magee, Laboratory Technologist, Cariboo Memorial Hospital, Val Avery, Physiotherapist, Vancouver Island Health Authority
Charlene Chen, Dietitian, Vancouver General Hospital, Allen Peters, X-ray Technologist, Nicola Valley General Hospital, Alternates: Mandi Ayers, Laboratory Technologist, Bulkley Valley District Hospital
Bruce MacDonald, Social Worker, Royal Columbian Hospital, Mark Zarembo, Respiratory Therapist, BC Childrens & Womens Hospital .

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Information: Miriam Sobrino (604) 439-0994 or (604) 328-2886 (cell)

BRG 1 500 NewsRelease Jan27-2006.PDF

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