Liberal government imposes contract on paramedicals

Bargaining bulletin

Employer-friendly deal will worsen B.C.’s health care crisis

On August 9, 2001, Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government imposed a new collective agreement on paramedical professionals with the passage of Bill 15, the Health Care Services Collective Agreements Act. The legislation forces the employer’s final offer on workers and steamrolls over the free collective bargaining process.

“Premier Campbell is sending a clear and destructive message to all B.C. health care workers and their unions — if we don’t fall into line with employer demands, the Liberal government will simply legislate a deal,” said HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“The legislation is unprecedented in B.C. for its direct assault on the right to strike and its flagrant bias in favour of the employer,” said B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair.

The imposed contract creates a two-tier wage system with certain paramedical classifications receiving 14.25 per cent in wage increases and the others receiving 5.5 per cent. It’s cobbled together using the previous 1998-2001 agreement, items agreed to between the Paramedical Professional Bargaining Association and the Health Employers Association of B.C. during talks this year, and the employer’s final offer — including concession demands — tabled July 18, 2001. HEABC’s concessions impact probation, medical and extended health benefits and education leave.

The changes which make up the 2001 - 2004 imposed agreement are enclosed with this update. HEU servicing representatives will be contacting HEU paramedical members at their facilities to discuss these changes.

“Health care needs stability now more than ever. The Liberal’s legislation will only produce the opposite effect,” said Allnutt.