Apr 14, 2010

HSPBA begins bargaining to improve health care delivery

BURNABY–Talks got underway today for a new collective agreement for health science professionals who deliver critical diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation services that British Columbians depend on for their good health.

The bargaining committee’s mandate is to achieve a collective agreement that protects quality health care and values the work of health science professionals.

CUPE is a member of the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA), in which the Health Science Associations of BC (HSA) is the lead union, and also includes members of BCGEU, PEA, and HEU.

The key objectives outlined in the union’s opening proposal set the tone for a positive and productive bargaining agenda aimed at delivering improvements to the health care system to benefit patients and their families, the members of the modern health care team responsible for their health, and employers working towards a mandate of improved quality of care and smooth delivery of services.

These include:

• Joint initiatives that recognize the value of health science professionals in the delivery of quality health care delivery and that involve and include health science professionals in health care changes.

• Fair wage increases that recognize the value of health science professionals and are consistent with increases for members of the modern health care team in B.C. and across the country.

• Modernizing the classification system to develop a unified, transparent, rationalized wage schedule that is responsive to the current industry structure while protecting integral features.

• Recruitment and Retention initiatives that attract people to health science professional disciplines and that attract trained health science professionals to work in the B.C. public health sector.

• Enhanced Quality of Worklife initiatives related to workload, scheduling, education, leaves of absence, violence prevention, occupational health and safety, and other healthy workplace improvements.

• Improved Benefit Package to maximize the value of the benefit package and meet differing needs of the membership.

• Sick Leave and Disability Management to develop a seamless integrated sick leave and disability management scheme that supports early and productive return to work.

• Job Security and Seniority Initiatives to protect and enhance members’ entitlements particularly in response to consolidation/integration of service.

• Improve Administration of the Collective Agreement Clarification of existing provisions to ensure collective agreement language reflects existing entitlements, improved grievance processing, housekeeping changes to streamline the collective agreement, and other initiatives that make the collective agreement more efficient or allow better harmonization/coordination of existing benefits.

The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association represents 17,000 health science professionals who deliver public health care services in hospitals and communities across the province. The current HSPBA collective agreement expires March 31, 2010.

CUPE’s representatives on the bargaining committee are Frank De Waard, Caroline Mewis, and CUPE National Representative, Justin Schmid.

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