#9 Unions table wage proposals

Bargaining bulletin

Compensation package includes ending wage discrimination against community health workers

HEU and its union bargaining partners tabled a comprehensive package of wage, benefit and other compensation improvements this week.

The unions are calling for a two-year agreement with a $1 an hour flat dollar general wage increase applied across-the-board in the first year and a five per cent increase in the second. The proposal also calls for a cost of living allowance in both years to protect wages against inflation.

“Our compensation package is designed to attract and retain skilled and experienced health care workers,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “And a general wage increase is just one element in a comprehensive plan to win fair wages and benefits for our members.”

The unions’ compensation strategy includes ending wage and benefit discrimination against community health workers and those in the facilities sector whose wages and benefits have not yet been “levelled up” or received comparability.

The unions’ also want to improve premiums, some of which haven’t been adjusted in a decade: ? increase on-call to $3 an hour; ? evening shift premium of $1.25 an hour; ? night shift premium of $2 an hour; ? weekend premium of $1 an hour; and ? call-back and transportation allowance increased to 42 cents per kilometre — minimum allowance increased to $4.

The unions are calling for these premiums to be matched to increases agreed to in RN or paramedical professional bargaining.

In addition to improvements to the extended health and dental plans, the compensation package includes proposals to strengthen the classification system and address discrepancies in some existing benchmarks and a range of other compensation-related improvements.

HEABC responded with detailed concession demands (see Bargaining Bulletin #8).

Talks continue Jan. 25 — 26 with a focus on community subsector specific issues. Talks for 60,000 community and facility health services and support workers resume next week.