HSP Chapter
Tentative Agreement Ratification Package
February 8, 2013

Tentative Agreement Ratification Package
After a year of bargaining, the HSPBA has reached a tentative agreement with the HEABC. The HSPBA bargaining
committee, made up of representatives from different health science professions around BC recommend
acceptance of the tentative agreement and encourage you to vote yes.

Your committee entered this round of negotiations with direction from members that wages and protection of
benefits were priorities.
Health science professionals have felt undervalued in the workplace, and the direction members gave to the
HSPBA bargaining committee was to go to the table and demand the respect you deserve.
While we knew going into bargaining that government was not in a generous mood, we also had the strength of
our members behind us to ensure government got the message loud and clear that health science professionals
are critical members of the modern health care team British Columbians count on for their good health.
Your bargaining committee took your direction seriously. In the pages to fol ow you wil find the details of the
tentative agreement that your bargaining committee was able to secure under the restrictive cooperative gains
bargaining mandate.
Ratification Meetings

The PEA wil be holding ratification teleconference meetings for al HSP members on Friday, February 15 from
12:00pm – 1:00pm and Monday, February 18 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm
. We encourage al members to attend one
of the meetings for a fulsome overview of the tentative agreement. In order to participate in the teleconference
please call 1-888-289-4573 and enter participant access code 9452394 when prompted.

Balloting Details

Enclosed in this package are the details of the tentative agreement and a ballot, which must be returned to the
PEA office no later than 2:00pm on Friday, March 1, 2013.
Thank you to al members for your support and engagement throughout this chal enging round of bargaining.
Dwaine Martin
Labour Relations Officer
Professional Employees Association
A union of professionals making a difference in BC 505-1207 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2E7 Telephone: 250-385-8791 Toll Free: 1-800-779-7736 Visit us online at
HSP Chapter
Tentative Agreement Ratification Package

Highlights of the proposed 2012-2014 HSPBA agreement

Members’ priority in this round of bargaining was to achieve a fair and reasonable wage increase. While the
restrictive bargaining mandate imposed by government limited the ability to negotiate wage increases for health
care workers, the tentative agreement includes a general wage increase for al health science professionals
(excluding pharmacists) totaling 3% by April 1, 2013.
The first increase of 2% is effective date of ratification of the agreement, and the second increase of 1% is effective
on the first pay period after April 1, 2013.
The general wage increase does not apply to pharmacists. Instead, the bargaining association successful y
protected and enshrined a market adjustment that has seen pharmacists paid between 9 and 14% above the base
wage rate. The market adjustment rate is now a permanent feature of the pharmacist wage rate and cannot be
taken away. This is an important protection for pharmacists who were, at the beginning of 2012, threatened with
wage roll back of 9-14% when government unilateral y decided the market adjustment would be eliminated.
Wages – Shift Premium
For many members who work evening, night and weekend shifts, an important feature of the tentative col ective
agreement is an improvement to the shift premium, bringing health science professionals in line with the other
health care professionals. The new shift premium rates wil be $3.50 per hour for nights, and $2.00 per hour for
weekends. The changes to the shift premium rates come into effect January 1, 2014.
Wages – 37.5 Hour Work Week
Bringing health science professionals’ work week in line with the rest of the health care team, the tentative
agreement proposes a change in the work week from 36 hours to 37.5 hours, with the normal daily shift increasing
from 7.2 hours to 7.5 hours. The increase in hours is paid, which translates into a 4.2% annual increase in take-
home pay, on top of to the 3% general wage increase.
Benefits – Pharmacare Tie-in
The government’s priority in this round of bargaining was a change in the drug formulary, tying prescription drug
coverage to the Pharmacare-al owed formulary of prescription drugs. The Pharmacare tie-in is a feature of many
public sector col ective agreements, including the Nurses and Facilities Bargaining Association – both being
introduced this year.
As part of the tentative agreement, the union insisted that a direct-pay card, or the “BlueNet Card” be introduced
for al members of the HSPBA. The BlueNet Card al ows direct-pay at the pharmacy for eligible prescriptions,
instead of the current system of paying for prescriptions up front, and submitting receipts for reimbursement.
A union of professionals making a difference in BC 505-1207 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2E7 Telephone: 250-385-8791 Toll Free: 1-800-779-7736 Visit us online at
HSP Chapter
Tentative Agreement Ratification Package

The change to the Pharmacare-approved formulary may mean some changes for some HSA members’ drug
regimens, as the approved Pharmacare formulary is not identical to the current list of drugs covered. The tentative
agreement includes provisions for a 90-day grace period after the May 1, 2013 change in order that members may
consult with their physicians and pharmacists to make arrangements either for Special Authorization to allow
coverage, or to make suitable changes. The committee negotiated some exceptions, even though the Pharmacare
formulary does not cover those drugs: specifical y, Prometrium and oral and injectable contraceptives wil continue
to be covered.
Members should alert their physicians to the change in extended benefits coverage as it relates to prescription
drug coverage as soon as possible in order that they are able to make as smooth a transition as possible.
Benefits – Joint Benefits Review Committee
The government began negotiations with a clear agenda to dramatical y reduce extended health benefits or
increase benefit premiums to be paid by members. The tentative agreement includes a proposal to establish a
joint benefits review committee, which includes representation from the union and from the employer. The
committee wil consider wellness programs that reduce the burden on costly benefits, as well as plans that offer
maximum choice to members, with the long-term sustainability of the plan being the driving objective. Deadline
for the committee to make recommendations for implementation is December 31, 2013.
Professional Development
The proposed agreement includes a $225,000 fund administered by the HSPBA to support professional
development of members. The fund has been wel -subscribed in the past, and renews a commitment to providing
opportunities for career development among members.
In addition to the fund, the definition of education under the contract language has been expanded to al ow
members to access employer-funded education for development that is not restricted to the member’s current
job, but to overal career development.

Enhanced Disability Management Program
A growing area of concern for health science professionals, and a growing area of activity for local reps and labour
relations advocates is in disability management and providing accommodations for members who are restricted by
injury or il ness in the way they can pursue their professions.
The proposed agreement provides for $408,000 for the HSPBA to provide disability management representatives
to support the Enhanced Disability Management Program, which is designed to improve the experience of
members who have been injured or il , and are able to return to work in different capacities.
A feature of a union proposal tabled in bargaining was a comprehensive wel ness strategy, and it is anticipated that
elements of that strategy wil be incorporated going forward.
A union of professionals making a difference in BC 505-1207 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2E7 Telephone: 250-385-8791 Toll Free: 1-800-779-7736 Visit us online at
HSP Chapter
Tentative Agreement Ratification Package

Quality of Care for Patients and Health Science Professionals – Call-Backs and On-Call
A long-standing concern for health science professionals has been the effect of insufficient hours off between
shifts as a result of on-cal or cal -back duties.
After months of consultation arising from the previous col ective agreement, the union bargaining association is
pleased the tentative agreement addresses the issue with a proposal that health science professionals get
sufficient time off to ensure they are well rested and able to perform their jobs optimal y. The proposal includes an
increase from a total of six to eight consecutive hours off between 10 pm and the start of the employee’s next
In addition to the increase in guaranteed time off between cal duties and regular shifts, the tentative agreement
provides for a commitment to developing and fol owing consistent standards for appropriate use of on-cal and
cal -backs – limiting the use of cal -backs only for patients requiring emergent or urgent care.
Health science professionals who believe a pattern of recurring incidents of unwarranted cal -back occur wil have
the opportunity to report incidents without reprisal. This important change recognizes the value health science
professionals bring to the health care team, and is expected to result in significant savings as a result of a reduction
in unnecessary tests.
Modernizing the Classification System
Intensive work done by the union bargaining association in keeping with commitments made under the 2010-2012
col ective agreement was frustrated by the failure of HEABC to keep up its end of the agreement. This failure was
recognized in an arbitration decision and interim order in September 2012, and employers were ordered to cease
and desist applying interim measures that were a detriment to HSPBA members.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, the interim order remains in place, protecting the integrity of the
current classification system, and a Classification Redesign Committee is struck to continue to pursue a redesigned
classification system that supports and promotes the role of health science professionals. A facilitator is agreed to
in order to assist in developing joint recommendations, and the facilitator, John Kinzie, may provide written non-
binding recommendations to resolve differences.
Violence Prevention and Respectful Workplaces
Health science professionals should not go to work worried about being assaulted at work. The tentative
agreement includes amendments to the col ective agreement to ensure employers take violence prevention
seriously, including providing violence prevention training and critical incident stress debriefing for staff who
experience violence at work.
The No Harassment language in the col ective agreement is also strengthened with the inclusion of an agreement
that al employees have the right to work in an environment free from personal harassment, and employers must
publish a clear policy for promoting and maintaining respectful workplaces.
A union of professionals making a difference in BC 505-1207 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2E7 Telephone: 250-385-8791 Toll Free: 1-800-779-7736 Visit us online at
HSP Chapter
Tentative Agreement Ratification Package

A complete summary of the proposed changes

1) Term of the agreement
• General wage increase for al employees (except pharmacists) Effective first pay period after ratification – 2% Effective first pay period after April 1, 2013 – 1% • The temporary market adjustment rates for pharmacists wil become permanent 3) Definition of employee status and Benefit Entitlement (Article 3) • Agree to increase the percentage that casual employees receive in lieu of vacation and statutory holiday to reflect the additional statutory holiday, Family Day • The parties agree to include language regarding providing new employees with steward information • The parties agree to new language for arbitration, expedited arbitration, and fast-track arbitration • Widens the ability for employees to take courses that wil general y assist them in pursuing employment opportunities broader than those directly related to their current job (for example, courses in 7) Maternity and Parental leave (Article 18) • Amendments make language gender neutral and extend its application to same sex parents, making it more inclusive of different types of familial structures. 8) Special Leave Application (Article 20.02) • Amendment makes language gender neutral and extends its application to same sex parents, making it more inclusive of different types of familial structures. 9) Leave – Statutory Holidays (Article 21) • Allows for carry-over of vacation leave. 11) 37.5 Hour Work Week (Article 24.01 and Transition Memorandum of Understanding) • Implementation of a 37.5 hour work week, and details about transition. Northern Health Authority wil implement no later than November 1, 2013, while the remaining Health Authorities wil implement later A union of professionals making a difference in BC 505-1207 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2E7 Telephone: 250-385-8791 Toll Free: 1-800-779-7736 Visit us online at
HSP Chapter
Tentative Agreement Ratification Package
• Amend the language to provide for thirty (30) minutes straight time pay when designated to be available 13) Transportation Allowance and Travel Expenses (Article 26) • Increase mileage rate to .52 per kilometer, effect first pay period fol owing April 1, 2013. • Night shift premium rises to $3.50 per hour from $1.75 hour effective January 1, 2014. • Weekend shift premium rises to $2 per hour from $1 per hour effective January 1, 2014 • Shift premiums are payable on overtime shifts. 15) Cal -back definition (Article 28.03 and Article 28.06) • Amends definition of cal -back and on-cal , and should be read jointly with Letter of Understanding improving quality and safety through the appropriate use of on-cal and cal -backs. • Expands number of guaranteed consecutive hours off between 10 p.m. and the start of an employee’s 16) Portability of Benefits (Article 29) • Improvement in language on portability of benefits 17) Extended Health Care Coverage (Article 34.02) • Include Pharmacare tie-in with BlueNet Card and with the addition of coverage for Prometrium and standard oral contraceptives and injectables, and a ninety-day grace period for maintenance pharmaceuticals. Employees wil continue to have the option to pay the difference between generic covered drugs and the brand name equivalent. 18) Safety and Occupational Health (Article 38) • New language requiring employers to provide employees with violence prevention training and to amend the language to provide al employees with access to critical incident stress debriefing. • New language promoting work environments free from personal harassment and requiring employers to develop policies to maintain harassment-free environments 20) Letter of Understanding Re: Early Retirement Incentive Benefit (ERIB) • Agreement to enhance and support efforts to increase the uptake of ERIB by eligible employees, includes continued access to group benefits and dental coverage. 21) Letter of Understanding Improving Quality and Safety through the Appropriate Use of On-cal and Cal -Backs • New language on appropriate use of on-cal and cal -backs 22) Memorandum of Understanding Extension Re: Requirement to Join and Maintain Membership in Professional 23) Memorandum of Understanding Re: Early Accommodation Measures for Employees • Agreement on a memorandum changing how “own occupation” is applied to encourage development of appropriate accommodations earlier in the process than is currently the practice. A union of professionals making a difference in BC 505-1207 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2E7 Telephone: 250-385-8791 Toll Free: 1-800-779-7736 Visit us online at
HSP Chapter
Tentative Agreement Ratification Package
24) Memorandum of Understanding RE: Classifcation Redesign Committee • Establishes a committee to assist with the redesign of the classification system, and upholds the interim 25) Memorandum of Understanding Re: Multi-Employer Steward Committee • Establishes a committee to address the issue of multi-employer stewards. 26) Memorandum of Understanding Re: Join Benefits Review Committee • Establishes a committee to review current benefit plans and provide recommendations for redesigned • Agreement that employers wil contribute $408,000 annual y for the creation of disability management representatives to support the Enhanced Disability Management Program (EDMP). This wil extinguish the obligation to al ocate 25 per cent of cost savings from the EDMP to improved disability management pursuant to the EDMP Memorandum of Agreement. 28) Letter of Agreement Re: Professional Development Fund • Agreement for a $225,000 Professional Development Fund to be established payable for the period April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, with the fund to be administered by the union bargaining association. • Agreement to housekeeping changes in: Retention of Seniority and Benefits on Lay-Off (Article 10.06) Leave – Sick – Accumulation (Article 19.01) Leave – Sick – Specialist Appointments Industry Wide Miscel aneous Rates – SPO 15+5 per cent A union of professionals making a difference in BC 505-1207 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2E7 Telephone: 250-385-8791 Toll Free: 1-800-779-7736 Visit us online at


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