Parameds asked to reject Foley report - #8

Bargaining bulletin

Report targets take home pay, undermines LTD

By unanimous votes, HEU’s Provincial Executive and Provincial Bargaining Committee are recommending to the union’s paramedical members that they reject Brian Foley’s proposed terms of settlement between the paramedical bargaining association and HEABC.

“As it stands, Foley’s report cuts take home pay for paramedical members while placing their LTD plan on shaky ground,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “It’s a step backward that we cannot support.”

Foley’s report would place non-HSA members in the paramedical bargaining unit into a separate LTD plan supported by employee payroll deductions of 1.75 per cent. HEU paramedical members are currently covered by an employer-paid LTD plan.

“It’s a significant hit on members’ take home pay,” says Allnutt. “And it’s linked to a new LTD trust which may run up a liability of over $3 million over the next two years. We do not want to be forced into a plan that undermines future disability benefits available to our members.”

And Allnutt says Foley’s recommendation on Workers’ Compensation sets a precedent for facilities master bargaining in 2001.

“Our union negotiated an agreement in the facilities sector that does not include HEABC’s demand for reduced earnings for injured workers collecting WCB,” says Allnutt. “But HEABC’s push for concessions on earnings while on WCB benefits will be front and centre in their demands in 2001 if it becomes part of the paramedical collective agreement as Foley’s report recommends.”

On-call pay increases to $2 an hour in Foley’s report. Allnutt says that’s an increase that’s sure to disappoint HEU clinical perfusionist members who are on-call regularly.

The paramedical bargaining association, in which HSA is the lead union, is recommending acceptance of Foley’s report. But other association members including HEU, BCGEU and CUPE are recommending rejection.

HEU paramedical members will receive a comprehensive report on Foley’s recommendations in the next few days. Voting times and places have yet to be determined.