Health employers’ plans for pharmacy services in flux

Lower Mainland health authorities are now saying that they do not intend to transfer pharmacy employees to Fraser Health, despite their previously stated plans.

On October 5, health authorities had served HEU with notice under the Labour Code to discuss issues related to changes in pharmacy services planned under the Lower Mainland Integration.

In subsequent meetings with the union, health employers stated their intention to transfer pharmacy services and employees from Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Provincial Health Services Authority and Providence Health Care to the Fraser Health Authority.

HEU communicated that information to members on November 24.

However, health employers expressed concern that the union had informed members of these developments and then advised that they were not intending to transfer pharmacy staff under the October 5 notice.

And in a December 9 email to pharmacy staff, health employers were again unclear on the status of transfers, creating further confusion for affected members.

Health employers’ intentions under the October 5 notice remain fluid and unclear - and are a source of anxiety and stress for members.

On December 15, discussions taking place under the provisions of the Labour Code have concluded. However, HEU will continue to have ongoing discussions with individual employers on any changes to service delivery planned within each of Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Provincial Health Services authorities and Providence Health Care.

These discussions will take place under the provisions of the collective agreement.

And if the health employers should once again raise the issue of transferring employees and services to Fraser Health, HEU will require them to serve 90-day notice under the appropriate provision of the Facilities collective agreement (Part V Transfer of Service - Job Security and Expanded Opportunities Addendum).

And despite the employers’ concerns, the union will continue to communicate with members in an open and transparent manner about changes to pharmacy services that may affect their employment.

Please contact your local executive if you have any questions.