Health employers exclude 1000+ members from comparability

HEU says action results in “two-tier” treatment of workers, refers issue to Kelleher

HEU is taking B.C.’s health employers in front of pay equity arbitrator Stephen Kelleher after the Health Employers Association of B.C. refused to deliver comparability to more than a thousand front-line workers in the facilities sector.

The union requested a hearing in June in response to HEABC’s position that long-term care facilities and other workplaces formerly covered by independent agreements without so-called “me to” provisions were excluded from the pay equity/comparability provisions of the collective agreement.

Last week, Kelleher agreed to hear the matter on November 27. Though HEABC has not provided the union with a list of affected facilities, it appears that nearly 30 employers representing more than 1,000 members fall into this category.

HEU’s position is that all facilities sector members are covered by the collective agreement language on comparability/pay equity.

“HEABC’s unilateral exclusion of these members from this important pay equity settlement undermines our union’s efforts to establish common wages and working conditions throughout the sector,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“The two-tier wage and benefit structure that HEABC has created through their exclusion of these members goes against the logic of health care integration. “It’s critical that affected local employers clearly understand this dysfunctional arrangement between now and the November hearing.”

If Kelleher overturns HEABC’s decision, says Allnutt, the affected members will receive both retroactive payments and lump sum interest payments, as well as pay rate adjustments.

“If we’re not satisfied with the outcome of the Kelleher hearing,” adds Allnutt, “the demand for parity within the facilities sector will be front and centre in the upcoming round of collective bargaining.”