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BURNABY, BC—Members of the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) have voted to accept the terms of the collective agreement reached in late December.

Our members expressed loud disapproval of this deal and we’re disappointed it was ratified,” said CUPE bargaining committee member, Frank De Waard, “However, we look forward to working with the other unions in our bargaining association in the next round of bargaining to negotiate a deal that we can all endorse and that Health Science Professionals can be proud of.”

The agreement passed with 57 per cent of all Health Science Professionals in the Bargaining Association voting in favour. The deal had the support of only four per cent of CUPE members.

The terms of the agreement include:

  • Enhanced benefits coverage, effective January 1, 2012.
  • Improved opportunities for professional development; a fair and equitable process to protect job security.
  • Working groups that lay the foundation for progress on challenges related to disability management, on-call and call-backs.
  • A substantive classifications review, with a future goal, subject to funding, of lifting Grade I to Grade II wage rates to recognize the value of professional practice leadership.
  • Establishment of a high-level joint committee including the Ministry of Health, Health Authorities and the HSPBA that recognizes the value of and involves health science professionals in decision making about the health care system.

Achieved under the government-imposed mandate for net-zero increases in public sector bargaining, the contract includes an agreement to suspend accrual of one vacation day per year for members with more than five years of service which is retroactive to 2010, the red-circling of Grade II employees who work without general supervision starting on April 1, 2011 and the suspension of the requirement for Chiefs also effective April 1, 2011.

The tentative agreement covers more than 17,000 health science professionals who deliver health care services in B.C. hospitals and communities. They are members of Health Sciences Association, BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Professional Employees’ Association.

CUPE represents over 500 members in this bargaining association, represented by CUPE Locals 15, 1978 and 4816.

CUPE’s representatives on the bargaining committee are Frank De Waard, (Team Leader with Burnaby Home Health), Caroline Mewis (Physiotherapist with Richmond Health) and Justin Schmid, CUPE National Representative.