May Day is Pay Day!

Pay adjustments on or before May 1, retro by Sept. 8 Almost 40,000 HEU members in the facilities sector will see comparability-related wage rate adjustments on their pay cheques on or before May 1 as a result of the unionís historic pay equity victory. "As agreed, employers will provide pay rate adjustments related to the Kelleher award on or before May 1," says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. "These adjustments are long overdue - four years overdue to be exact." In addition, Allnutt says HEU has reached an agreement with the Health Employers Association of B.C. that retroactive payments will be made to members on or before Sept. 8 covering the period April 1, 1996 to April 30, 2000. Health employers have also agreed in principle to provide retroactive payments to individual members in a separate cheque along with the details of how the payment is calculated. Arbitrator Stephen Kelleher heard arguments on the amount of interest owing on more than $107 million in retroactive payments on April 7. HEU and health employers are far apart on their calculations of interest owed. Since the disagreement centers on interpretation of the Court Order Interest Act, it's possible that Kelleher's decision could end up in the courts. "Fortunately, we have been successful in separating the issue of retroactivity from the question of interest owing," says Allnutt. "As a result, retroactivity payments will not be delayed because of a dispute over the total amount of interest due." HEU and HEABC have agreed that the global amount of interest owing will be divided by the number of full-time equivalent employees as of May 1, 2000 and distributed to all facilities sector members in proportion to hours they have worked during the period April 1, 1999 to March 31, 2000. "This method of delivering interest acknowledges that all members deserve compensation for non-wage elements of comparability with BCGEU such as hours of work and pensions," says Allnutt. "And it recognizes the role all HEU members have played in winning this very important pay equity victory." Improved maternity/parental leave benefits related to Kelleher's award will take effect May 1, 2000.