HEABC rejects recruitment/retention measures

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HEU takes issue to arbitration

HEALTH EMPLOYERS deny that there’s a looming retention and recruitment crisis facing high demand occupations and have rejected a union request to exempt a range of job classifications from the 11-per-cent wage rollback imposed by government.

The union has now referred the matter to arbitration.

Last week, the Hospital Employees’ Union and its bargaining partners provided HEABC with a detailed list of job classifications that need to be exempted from the 11- per-cent wage cut.

That list includes LPNs, the patient care technical family (including ECG and Cardio Techs), IT jobs in computer and data processing, trades, maintenance supervisors, Biomedical Electronics Technologists, Power Engineers, MW5 classifications and above as well as all classifications in the miscellaneous job family (e.g. Media Services Techs).

But in a response to the union’s request for recruitment/retention adjustments, HEABC senior vice-president Tony Collins wrote June 9 that “we do not accept at this time that such a concern exists for many of the occupations you identified at our June 2, 2004 meeting.”

HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt says patients and residents will suffer if employers continue to deny the looming crisis in attracting and retaining high demand occupations.

“Health employers need to be more realistic about the challenges facing health care as a result of arbitrary and ill-thought out legislation like Bill 37,” says Allnutt. “We’ll now make that case in front of an arbitrator.”

Allnutt says that in addition to recruitment and retention issues, HEU has also referred the following matters to arbitration:
  • funding for the Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare;
  • continuation of supplementary benefits for pre-1998 LTD claimants;
  • implementation dates and processes related to the 37.5 hour week; and
  • various concerns related to Bill 37 and local agreements reached over the past year.
HEU has asked for early hearing dates to deal with these urgent matters.