Health science professionals set to take strike action next week

VANCOUVER, Nov. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The members of BC's modern health care team who provide diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation services have announced they will begin strike action next week.  Tired and frustrated by months of inaction at the bargaining table, health science professionals voted 90 per cent in favour of a strike this month.

Wednesday, December 5, pharmacists - who were threatened with a 15 per cent wage rollback earlier this year - will reduce their work to essential services only.

On Friday, December 7, medical imaging technologists - the people who conduct x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasound, and other imaging procedures - will reduce their work to essential services only. The only exception to the reduction of service will be at Surrey Memorial Hospital, which is just recovering from a catastrophic flood that affected services in medical imaging, as well as closing the emergency department.

"Health science professionals have been at the bargaining table for eight months, and progress has been very limited. In fact, at the last bargaining meeting, the employer was a no-show," said HSA President Reid Johnson.

"As the weeks pass and we see fair and reasonable settlements reached with other public sector workers, our members want to know when it is they can expect government to show up and bargain a fair and reasonable contract."

While other members of the professional health care team keep getting wage increases handed to them by government, health science professionals have been falling behind, in some cases making several dollars an hour less than their counterparts in other provinces. "Without them, the health care system cannot function, and our members say it's time their contribution to the modern health care team is recognized," Johnson said.

"We are scheduled to return to bargaining next week, and hope this planned strike action gets the attention of the government to come to the table and negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement before we are forced to take action that inconveniences the public," he said.

HSA also launched a campaign website today, www.modernhealthcare.org, and encourages members and all British Columbians to send a message to government that fair and reasonable wage increases are needed to protect our health care services.


SOURCE: Health Sciences Association of British Columbia

For further information:

Miriam Sobrino, Communications: 604.439.0994 or 604.328.2886 or msobrino@hsabc.org