HEU members moving to SSO must stay in FBA

Payroll and information technology follow supply chain into SSO

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Members of the Hospital Employees’ Union who will be moving to the newly-created Health Authorities’ Shared Services Organization (SSO) should remain in the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) to maintain continuity of vital functions and services for B.C.’s acute and residential care facilities.

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says that “the stated goal of SSO – to promote efficiencies through shared systems – is a good idea in principle.

“But the fact is, HEU members in health care’s supply chain, payroll and information technology are experts in their areas. Their skills and experience are critical to achieving the SSO’s goals. And it makes no sense whatsoever to lower wages and reduce benefits for these workers by moving them from the facilities to the community subsector.”

The SSO has concentrated on reconfiguring the supply chain which includes purchasing, stores, inventory and distribution. And the province-wide amalgamation has entered its next phase – Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and SSO representatives met with information technology staff on November 12 and are scheduled to meet with payroll staff.

HEU plans to involve workers and draw on their knowledge and experience as the development of the new agency continues. The union has requested a meeting with health authority and SSO officials to discuss the next phase of the project.

Recently, the corporate structure of the SSO was announced with most managerial positions filled in the supply chain and payroll, with information technology to follow. Currently, HEU members remain employees of the health authority under which they were hired.

The SSO is one of a number of different cost-saving moves that the B.C. government and its health authorities have initiated over the last year.

The Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) represents the Shared Services Organization. Earlier this year, HEU had asked for a full discussion on implementation of the SSO including the issue of bargaining unit designation.

More information about the SSO and other restructuring projects will be posted on the HEU website as it becomes available.