Clerical benchmark series review closer to conclusion

Health care unions and employers move forward in resolving final issues, with help of labour mediator

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The Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) and Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) met with arbitrator Vince Ready on Wednesday in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues in the three million dollar clerical benchmark review series, negotiated in 2006 bargaining.

Some of the Finance and Payroll benchmarks were upgraded with either a finance or payroll course, and were given a one grid lift to their wage rate.

The Housekeeping Clerk (benchmark 10308) had the staffing responsibilities removed from the benchmark. And consistent with that, the Nursing Staffing benchmarks were generalized to allow all staff to access the Staffing benchmark class title.

Earlier talks had resolved the issue of cost-sharing (21 per cent) of wage-sensitive benefits – such as statutory deductions like CPP and EI – on a without precedent and without prejudice basis, as well as many benchmark “housekeeping” matters.

Those housekeeping changes include: ensuring the qualifications were consistent in each class series as well as within the clerical job family; renaming the class series Clerk Steno to Clerk General, and Medical Stenography to Medical Transcription. Some class titles of benchmarks were also changed.

The clerical benchmark review has also secured a reduced typing speed in most benchmarks by five (5) wpm, removing the shorthand requirement, and changing the typing requirement to keyboarding requirement.

Some of the money has been put aside to upgrade the Admitting benchmarks, which will need to be determined by December 9, 2009, or the matter will be referred back to Vince Ready.