Health unions seek joint meeting with HEABC on April 1 wage increase

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Unions representing nearly 100,000 health care workers in four union bargaining associations are asking for a meeting with BC’s health employers to press for action on the payment of the April 1 wage increase.

The unions are responding to the failure of many health employers to pay workers’ wage adjustments retroactive to April 1.

The collective agreement provisions covering the implementation of wage increases for health care members of the HEU, BC Nurses’ Union, Health Sciences Association, BC Government and Service Employees' Union -- and more than a dozen other unions -- are identical.

“On the union side, there is agreement that the wage increases contained in the agreement are to be paid April 1,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy. “What we are seeking from HEABC is a commitment that they will direct health employers to pay these increases retroactive to that date.

“Considerable discussion took place at the bargaining table about re-building trust and effective working relationships. It’s time that health employers turned those words into deeds so that we can shift our focus to the many other important matters that we’ve agreed to at the bargaining table.

“Obviously, we will pursue all avenues to ensure that members receive their retroactive wage adjustments,” adds Darcy. “But the best outcome would be for health employers to act immediately to meet their obligations to our members.”

Darcy says that while unions push for a resolution on the April 1 issue, there is no justification for health employers to withhold negotiated pay adjustments from members’ current pay cheques.