Rotating strike action for B.C. health professionals starts December 6

Health science professionals delay job action by one day – pharmacists to be reduced December 6.

Vancouver (03 Dec. 2012) - In order to demonstrate support for continued bargaining, the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) has delayed plans for rotating strikes by one day. Instead of reducing pharmacy services to essential service levels December 5, the job action will commence on December 6 at 9 a.m. and continue until midnight.

“In recognition of the government’s reasonable agreement to suspend the punitive aspects of the flu vaccine policy, we have delayed the start of job action to ensure it is clear HSPBA plans to be at the bargaining table Monday through Wednesday with a view to getting to a fair and reasonable negotiated agreement,” said HSPBA Chief Negotiator Jeanne Meyers.

The new job action plan is to reduce pharmacists to essential services on December 6 from 9 a.m. to midnight. Thursday at midnight, the strike will move to medical imaging and services will be reduced to essential service levels only for 24 hours – until midnight on December 7.

Members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) who work as public health inspectors, environmental health officers, inspector UPP and environmental technologists will go down to essential service levels at 12:00 a.m on December 7 and end at 11:59 p.m.

The job action does not involve picket lines. However, members will be leafleting the public to bring attention to the critical issue in recruitment and retention among health science professionals.

The union job action coordinators are drawing up schedules for the first two days of the rotating job action. Members who are working essential service shifts must report to the union’s essential services coordinator at strike headquarters to pick up an essential services button or badge that signifies they are working essential services.

All union members are encouraged to support the job action by joining their colleagues in leafleting the public during breaks, and on days off, and by visiting www.modernhealthcare.org to send a letter to the minister of health and others decision makers encouraging a concerted effort at negotiating a fair and reasonable contract.

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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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