Health science professionals call off job action; membership meetings planned as government tries to provoke more strike action

“We have been at the table for nine months trying to work with health employers to find solutions to the crisis in recruitment and retention that’s hurting the system’s ability to deliver the quality health care British Columbians deserve.” - Reid Johnson, HSABC President.

Vancouver (10 Dec. 2012) - The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) has called off rotating strikes planned for the coming week.

Following three round-the-clock days of talks mediated by veteran labour mediator Vince Ready, the government tabled a proposal just before midnight on December 8 for a wage increase and massive concessions. The proposal adds up to a general wage increase of 1.4 per cent over two years – and some health care workers could be facing wage roll backs.

“The proposal dropped on the table by government is so far off the mark that there’s no doubt in my mind they are trying to provoke our members into escalating job action, and giving the government an excuse to recall the legislature to impose a contract,” said Reid Johnson, President of Health Science Association of B.C (HSABC/NUPGE). HSABC/NUPGE represents 14,500 of the 17,000 health science professionals covered by the contract.

 The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) also represent members affected by these negotiations.

Both unions agree that members will not go down that road. "Our members are committed to delivering health care services to British Columbians. Our dispute is not with the people who need those services. It is with a government that refuses to negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement for essential members of the modern health care team."

“We have been at the table for nine months trying to work with health employers to find solutions to the crisis in recruitment and retention that’s hurting the system’s ability to deliver the quality health care British Columbians deserve.”

“Employers refused to bargain. We got Vince Ready involved to kick start talks. He came in, and forced the government to bring a proposal to the table. We now know exactly what government thinks of the value of health science professionals in the public health care system, and we’re going to share that with our members and take our direction for next steps from them.” Johnson said.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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