Green light on lump sum interest payments

HEU reaches agreement with health employers on how  to allocate $8.5 million in comparability/pay equity interest

HEU and health employers have reached an agreement on how to pay out more than $8.5 million in interest due on more than $100 million in retroactive pay equity/comparability payments.

The news comes as payroll departments are preparing retroactivity payments for more than 30,000 HEU members that will be delivered by September 8.

All HEU members in workplaces covered by comparability, and who are employees as of May 1, 2000, will receive a flat dollar amount based on their hours of service between April 1, 1999 and March 31, 2000 — regardless of whether their individual classification benchmark received a retraoctive pay rate adjustment. A full-time worker will receive a one-time lump sum of $270.25 (less statutory deductions) while part-time and casual workers will receive a pro-rated amount. LTD claimants are also eligible to receive interest payments.

“Paying a lump sum to all members recognizes the non-wage elements of comparability with the direct public service including hours of work and pensions,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “It also recognizes that our historic pay equity win is a collective effort, won through years of mobilization in workplaces and in our communities.”

While the agreement on interest represents a final step in the comparability phase of pay equity for many members, the union is still looking for justice for more than a 1000 workers that the Health Employers’ Association of B.C. says are not covered by comparability. HEU will take that matter in front of arbitrator Stephen Kelleher in late November.

Interest payments are expected later this fall. HEU has urged employers to pay the lump sum amount as soon as possible.