Health science professionals vote to accept five-year deal

23 Dec ’13

Health science professionals have voted 76 per cent in favour of accepting a new five-year contract.

The agreement was reached in advance of the expiry of the current agreement, set to run out on March 31, 2014.

“This agreement provides five years of stability for health science professionals,” says BCGEU president Darryl Walker.

“In a difficult economic climate, the bargaining committee was able to attain modest wage increases and ensure that members’ benefits are protected. Additionally, HEABC has committed to recruitment and retention processes to address the growing demand for highly skilled workers in the sector.”

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • Wage increases totalling 5.5 per cent over five years; with a possibility for improvements dependent on the performance of BC’s economy (Economic Stability Dividend).
  • A “me-too” clause. If other comparable public sector compensation increases exceed these increases, the HSPBA collective agreement will be adjusted by an across-the-board percentage increase to match those compensation increases.
  • Current benefits provided by the collective agreement will be maintained until April 1, 2016.
  • A jointly-run trust will be established by April 1, 2016 to allow for joint administration and decision-making about participation in and management of benefits.
  • The Pharmacare Tie-In drug benefits coverage program, introduced in the 2012-2014 contract, will be improved to allow for 50% coverage for prescriptions not covered by the Pharmacare formulary. The change is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2013.
  • Improved commitment to disability management for staff, ensuring they are supported to return to work successfully after absence due to injury or illness – health care workers experience the highest rate of occupational injury in BC.
  • A joint recruitment and retention committee designed to address issues and initiatives to ensure long-term supply of highly skilled health science professionals.

The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association is led by HSA, and includes other health science professionals represented by BCGEU, CUPE, PEA, and HEU.

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