#P9 Mediator books out, paramedical professionals serve strike notice

Bargaining bulletin

HEU and the other unions representing 14,000 paramedical professionals served strike notice after asking mediator Stephen Kelleher to book out of talks earlier in the week.

HEU’s paramedical professionals will learn next week what role they will play in job action plans. Contact your servicing representative for details.

“After three months of negotiations, including several weeks with Mr. Kelleher’s help, it’s clear that the employer isn’t interested in negotiating an agreement that will help keep highly skilled health care professionals here in BC,” says Health Sciences Association (HSA) president Cindy Stewart.

Union members are incensed over comments made last week by Gary Moser, CEO of the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC), who said that paramedical professionals are not worth wage increases comparable to other health care professionals.

The unions’ chief negotiator Rick Lampshire, says HEABC has been stalling talks since they started in January.

“The HEABC negotiator clearly doesn’t have a mandate to bargain. After three months, HEABC finally tabled a wage package. It’s offensive. It includes temporary wage increases for some and a bare minimum for others.

“They kept major concessions on the table well after they were removed from other health care tables and have been telegraphing for weeks now that they aren’t interested in getting down to real negotiations until after a deal is struck at the nurses’ table,” Lampshire said.

The bargaining association will use creative methods to bring attention to the major issues at the bargaining table - which include wages, on-call and education.

The collective agreement expired March 31, 2001.