VANCOUVER, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Negotiators for health science
professionals and health employers have agreed to mediation nine months
after bargaining began. Mediator Vince Ready was brought in by the
parties this week.
"We are pleased to have Mr. Ready join us in trying to kick-start
meaningful negotiations," said Health Science Professionals Bargaining
Association (HSPBA) Chief Negotiator Jeanne Meyers.
"And we've already seen the benefit of his inclusion in the talks. For
the first time in nine months, government has tabled its position at
the bargaining table. It's the first proposal we've seen from
government, and it's clear we have a very long way to go if we are to
achieve a fair and reasonable agreement that reflects the value
specialized health science professionals bring to the modern health
care team," Meyers said.
HSA President Reid Johnson said strike action will proceed this week.
Starting tomorrow at 9 a.m. hospital pharmacists will reduce work to
essential services only. Thursday at midnight, the rotating strike
action will move to all medical and diagnostic imaging, with staff
performing only essential services. Public health inspectors will also
"We have been at the bargaining table for nine months. Our members are
frustrated that government has clearly not taken an interest in these
talks. Even after members voted 90 per cent in favour of a strike,
government and HEABC failed to show up for scheduled bargaining. And
not until this week, with strike action announced, did they come to the
table with any kind of a position," Johnson said.
"Pharmacists will kick off the job action tomorrow. They are
particularly frustrated by government's failure to negotiate - since
they are the specialized health science professionals government
targeted for a wage roll back of 9 to 14 per cent just before the
contract expired in March. While government backed off of the rollback
at the start of bargaining, pharmacists want their wages protected and,
in fact improved, to keep them at comparable rates to their colleagues
across the country - as well as in the retail sector," Johnson said.
Health science professionals are the 17,000 members of the modern health
care team who provide specialized clinical, diagnostic, and
rehabilitation services in hospitals and communities around B.C. The
Health Sciences Association of BC represents a majority of members
covered by the contract. Other unions in the association are BC
Government and Service Employees Union, Canadian Union of Public
Employees, Professional Employees' Association, and Hospital Employees'
SOURCE: Health Sciences Association of British Columbia
For further information:
Miriam Sobrino, Communications: 604.439.0994 or 604.328.2886 or firstname.lastname@example.org