HEU and Fraser Health reach Labour Adjustment Agreement for members in Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services


Since 2011, the Hospital Employees’ Union has negotiated agreements with the Fraser Health Authority facilitating the education and training of Pharmacy Assistants to transition as Regulated Pharmacy Technicians, expanding their education and knowledge base, and increasing their rate of pay.

As a result, members were assisted to become a Regulated Pharmacy Technician in their existing position by accessing training funds from the Facilities Bargaining Association Educational Fund.

This bridging program was discontinued on December 31, 2015. Now, Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services (LPMS) is moving forward with the staffing reconfiguration to ensure there are an appropriate number of Regulated Pharmacy Technicians at each site.

Overall, out of 499 regular positions, there is a shortage of approximately 45 Regulated Pharmacy Technicians, and approximately 18 more Pharmacy Assistant positions than are needed.

HEU and the employer have been meeting to discuss how to minimize the impact of this reconfiguration on affected employees and the operations of LMPS and have reached a Labour Adjustment Agreement.

The agreement takes steps towards minimizing the impact of the planned reorganization on Pharmacy Assistants in Lower Mainland Pharmacy. The agreement provides an incentive, in addition to entitlements under the collective agreement, to Pharmacy Assistants considering early retirement or departure from Fraser Health Authority and a process for potentially displaced Pharmacy Assistants to access vacancies throughout the Lower Mainland rather than being displaced/laid off.

In addition, the agreement recognizes and provides some protection for employees who may normally be facing a reduction in wage rates as a result of the reorganization.

Over the next few weeks, Fraser Health will be holding on-site meetings for Pharmacy Assistants and HEU will be in attendance. The purpose of these meetings is to review the Labour Adjustment Agreement and the options available to members.

It will also be an opportunity for members to ask any questions they may have.

Members can also contact the shop steward at their work site for more information.