Foley report on parameds ratified by HSA - #11

Bargaining bulletin

But five unions in bargaining association reject deal

The paramedical bargaining association has ratified a contract settlement proposed by mediator Brian Foley by a margin of 79 per cent although five out of six unions in the association have voted 89 per cent against the deal. HSA, which represents the majority of paramedical workers, voted 94 per cent in favour.

In announcing the bargaining association results on March 1, HSA chief negotiator Rick Lampshire said: “This contract is good news for HSA and for all paramedical professionals. Given the current political and economic climate, we feel that this collective agreement is fair and equitable.” But the other unions in the association disagree.

HEU, CUPE, BCGEU, UFCW and PEA object to LTD arrangements contained in Foley’s report that reduce gross wages by 1.75 per cent for many non-HSA paramedicals.

“It’s a significant reduction in take home pay” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “And a poor trade-off for a new LTD plan that may run up a liability exceeding $3 million over two years.”

The five unions are reviewing their legal options to block the LTD changes.

HEU also says new Workers’ Compensation language in the paramedical agreement is concessionary and will reappear in the employers’ list of demands in the next round of facilities master bargaining.

“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.

Health employers ratified Foley’s report in February.