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Nurses getting a premium wage for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. What about the rest of the health care team?

March 31, 2020
The “working short” premium, negotiated for nurses in the last round of bargaining, has been reworked in a deal between the BC Nurses Union and the employer to pay nurses a premium during the COVID-19 pandemic at least through to the end of April, if not longer.  The working short premium was intended to be a penalty on employers who did not have enough nurses on shift as needed. The intent was for employers to address staffing shortages within a year, and to apply the wage premium only in cases where they were unable to provide appropriate staffing.

Worksite preference website re-opened for 6-10 p.m. tonight, Monday March 20

March 27, 2020
  **UPDATED MARCH 30 4 PM: WORKSITE PREFERENCE WEBSITE REOPENS TONIGHT 6-10 PM FOR EMPLOYEES WHO WERE UNABLE TO REGISTER OVER WEEKEND** The Provincial Health Officer has ordered that movement between worksites by health care workers must be limited to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the current pandemic.

Important information for community social services workers re: Essential Services and Single Site Order

March 27, 2020
  To: HSA members working in community social services From: HSA and Community Social Services Bargaining Associaton On March 26, 2020 the BC Government used their extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act, to issue ministerial orders to ensure a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic across all levels of government.  These orders have direct implications for workers in the Community Social Services Sector. 

Help is on the way for health care workers who need child care

March 27, 2020
Starting the evening of March 26, Health Authority Employers have begun to survey employees about their child care needs starting next Monday, March 30. Check your employer email for details. To date, HSA is aware of processes in VIHA and PHSA. Contact your employer for details on how to register your child care needs. Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix recognize the need for health care and other front line workers to get to work to provide the services British Columbians depend on.

URGENT: Important information for HSA members working in long term care

March 27, 2020
  TO: HSA members working in Long Term Care In an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in BC’s hard-hit Long Term Care facilities, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued two province-wide orders aimed at restricting movement of health care staff between Long Term Care facilities. The orders went into effect yesterday, Thursday March 26, 2020

Government commits to continue community social services program funding

March 20, 2020
Amidst the worldwide uncertainty about what is coming at us in the coming days and weeks, HSA is pleased to share with HSA members working in BC's community social services sector that the provincial government has committed to continue funding programs. CSSEA reported late this afternoon on its website that the government has reinforced its funding commitment to the social services sector in light of potential disruptions caused by COVID-19. From the CSSEA website:

Health care workers need protection during pandemic: NUPGE and HSABC release new research showing higher precautions recommended

March 19, 2020
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and Health Sciences Association of BC (HSA) released today a research paper focused on respiratory protection for health workers caring for COVID-19 patients. “Health care workers around the world are reporting that personal protective equipment guidelines are inconsistent and in short supply. As this pandemic hits our health care system in Canada, the priority must be to keep our health care workers healthy so they can provide the care patients need,” said NUPGE President Larry Brown.

Learning Gitxsanimaax at Wrinch Memorial Hospital

March 19, 2020
By Samantha Ponting, HSA Communications Angie Combs, aboriginal patient liaison worker at Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton, BC, recalls that staff at the hospital would occasionally ask her to teach them some words and phrases in Gitxsanimaax, the language spoken by the Gitxsan First Nation. The hospital is on Gitxsan territory, which spans 33,000 square kilometers across northwest BC. “I started with speaking phrases like, ‘How are you today,’” said Combs.

Notice to HSA members: 2020 Annual Convention postponed

March 12, 2020
HSA’s annual convention, slated for April 1 – 3, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, has been postponed indefinitely. The decision to postpone was made last night on an emergency conference call meeting of the union’s Board of Directors. The union has weighed the risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic to the more than 400 delegates registered to attend, and the potential impact on the public health system.

Health care union annual convention postponed

March 12, 2020
Amid growing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and the need to take constructive steps to control contamination, the Board of Directors of Health Sciences Association of BC (HSA) has postponed indefinitely the union’s annual convention, slated for April 1-3, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver. “This was a difficult call, but the right call for a union whose members are on the front lines of delivering care, as well as at risk to exposure,” said HSA President Val Avery.