Slow progress is being made in bargaining for health science professionals in B.C.
Vancouver (18 April 2012) - Bargaining at the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) table continues to make slow but steady progress, Chief Negotiator Jeanne Meyers reported.
Like most public sector union contracts in the province, the agreement expired March 31, 2012.
“At the outset of bargaining, we said HSABC [Health Sciences Association of B.C.] is committed to the process, but that if we didn’t see signs from employers that there was an appetite for meaningful discussion about contract issues important to health science professionals, we would not have a lot of patience for the process,” Meyers said.
“I am optimistic that the work being done at the bargaining table is productive, albeit slow, and we are working on a number of long-standing issues that it is in members’ interest to resolve,” she said.
Areas in which detailed and promising discussions are continuing are the work of the insufficient off-duty hours committee, and a group working on the Enhanced Disability Management Program.
Negotiators are also making progress on an improved and faster arbitration process designed to speed up resolution of disputes.
“The pace is slow, but the discussions are consistent with the priorities set by the bargaining proposal conference, which called for improvements to address professional interests, and fair and reasonable recognition of the value of health science professionals in the modern health care team,” said HSABC bargaining committee chair Val Avery.
Bargaining is set to resume after a break for HSABC/NUPGE’s 41st annual convention, being held in Vancouver April 20 and 21.