Decision on HEABC appeal of comparability ruling

It took only a few hours of formal hearings the afternoon of Dec. 21, but now the B.C. Labour Relations Board is deciding the final outcome of an employer appeal of arbitrator Stephen Kelleher's decision on the HEU's long standing comparability/pay equity issue in the facilities sector. At the LRB hearing, presided over by vice-chair Tony Hickling, HEU argued that Kelleher's decisionwhich awards comparability/pay equity adjustments of three per cent effective April 1, 1999 plus improvement in maternity and paternity leaveis fair and should stand as is. Both HEU and the Health Employers Association have asked Hickling for a quick decision, and a ruling is expected sometime in January. Meanwhile, the union and HEABC continued to meet in December to discuss the nuts and bolts of implementing the adjustments and other elements of Kelleher's award. The union's goal is to distribute the estimated $110 million of comparability adjustmentswhich will be applied to HEU's pay equity targetsas broadly as possible. Kelleher's September ruling is the second of two comparability adjustments won by HEU in the 1990s. In 1994, an interim comparability adjustment valued at 3.7 per cent of pay roll was implemented across the board for all classifications