HSA won't be picketing Monday

Paramedical union will be embarking on its own creative job action, and urges other health care workers to report for work Monday (posted July 22 at 9:00 p.m.)

Leaders of the Health Sciences Association announced Sunday night that its members will carry out job action starting at 6 a.m. Monday. But it will not include traditional picket line activity, and HSA leaders pledged that their creative efforts won’t impact members of HEU or other health care unions. It’s anticipated that paramedicals will be holding a variety of protest activities to press home their commitment to win a negotiated contract settlement.

And HEU assistant secretary business manager Zorica Bosancic says HEU remains supportive of HSA’s efforts to achieve a negotiated contract settlement. “We’ll work together with HSA and the B.C. Federation of Labour to come up with ways for our members -— on non-work time —- to support HSA protest activities.”

“I encourage all HEU members to show their support and solidarity for our own paramedical members and their Sisters and Brothers in HSA who are fighting hard for a settlement,” Bosancic says.

HSA job action is slated to begin at 6 a.m. Monday. It’s not clear how long the protest activity will last.

Bosancic says HEU local leaders and staff will be available at work sites to assist with any difficulties which may arise tomorrow.

Bosancic put the blame for the current crisis squarely on the shoulders of the Liberal government.

“Unfortunately, the government’s intervention through back to work legislation has undermined the collective bargaining process,” she said. “What the health care system needs right now is stability,” she say. “But the Liberal’s actions have provoked a crisis which we fear is a prelude to permanently removing health care workers’ collective bargaining rights.”

She was also harshly critical of employers’ bullying tactics and outlandish discipline threats, which breeds an atmosphere of hostility in the workplace that hinders cooperative efforts to make Medicare better.

“Health boss Gary Moser’s swaggering and bullying attitude sure doesn’t help solve the immediate challenges at hand,” Bosancic says.