Comparability/pay equity adjustments on target for May 1

HEU/HEABC agreement means no appeal of Kelleher decision An agreement between health employers and HEU means facilities sector members will receive comparability-related pay adjustments on or before May 1 - exactly four years after the new rates were scheduled to come into effect. Under the terms of the March 28 agreement, the Health Employers Association of B.C. will not appeal arbitrator Stephen Kelleherís recent supplementary award in which he provided the rationale for his original pay equity/comparability award of September 21, 1999. "With this commitment by HEABC, our members can finally be assured that they will receive long overdue pay adjustments by May Day," says HEU assistant secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic. "It's an important milestone in our decades-long struggle for fairness that closes the pay equity gap for our members by several years." Health employers have also agreed to deliver retroactivity payments to eligible members as quickly as possible. Interest on the total amount of these payments will be distributed to members on a pro-rated flat dollar basis - a simplified measure that will speed up the process. The total amount of interest will be determined at a meeting with HEABC on April 5. If an agreement is not reached at that meeting, the matter will be referred to Kelleher. On the remaining element of the comparability award - maternity/parental benefit improvements - both parties have agreed to a Supplementary Employment Benefit for those who qualify for maternity or paternity benefits under Employment Insurance. These benefit improvements take effect on May 1, 2000. More than 90 per cent of HEU facilities sector members - those covered by former HLRA master, CCERA standard or Pricare standard collective agreements - are covered by the award.