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VANCOUVER - A tentative agreement has been reached between the Community Bargaining Association (which includes the CUPE bargaining committee) and the Health Employers’ Association of BC.  Ratification votes are expected to take place in January.  

Details of the tentative two-year deal, reached late Saturday, include:

• Wage increases of 3% and 3% for LPNs (licensed practical nurses), and similar   increases for LPN supervisors and Certified Dental Assistants;
• A weekend shift premium of 25 cents/hour for all weekend shifts;
• The establishment of a CBA/HEABC working group to improve scheduling practices.

Changes to benefits package include:

• A point-of-sale (Blue Net) drug card;
• Vision care will be increased to up to $350 every 24 months from $225;
• A joint working group will examine the feasibility of short-term sick leave;
• The annual EHB (extended health benefits) deductable will be increased to $100,
• Massage therapy will be capped at a maximum of $1,000 per year;
• Long-term disability (LTD) in the “own occupation” category will be reduced to 19 months from 24 months;
• Limits will be placed on access to LTD for claimants who have pre-existing conditions.