Medical imaging, switchboard services staff transferred as part of HA restructuring

Close to 500 HEU members working in medical imaging and switchboard services are to be transferred to new health authority employers because of the latest round of restructuring in Lower Mainland health authorities.

Health employers informed the union on January 31 that they intend to transfer more than 480 employees working in medical imaging in the Fraser Health Authority, Provincial Health Services Authority and Providence Health Care. Health employers plan to transfer these employees to the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority around May 13.

This includes members working in general radiology, angiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, diagnostic breast imaging and specialty procedures.

Health employers say that there will be no staff reductions or role changes as a result of the transfer to a new employer.

Earlier in January, health employers also announced plans to transfer switchboard staff from Providence Health Care to the Provincial Health Services Authority as part of the larger transfer of Information Management Information Technology (IMIT) services across the region. Read more about the IMIT transfer.

No effective date for the transfer of the PHC switchboard staff was provided.

Collective agreement and transfers

The current facilities collective agreement includes transfer provisions designed to protect members’ rights during the transfer process.

  • No interruption of pay or benefits as a result of transfer to another health-sector employer.
  • Portability of service and related banks (like sick leave and vacation).
  • Portability of seniority to new employer while maintaining seniority with previous employer for up to five years.
  • Right to go on casual list with for employer and accumulate seniority for time worked.
  • Access to the casual list with “receiving” employer for affected casuals.

In addition, as part of the collective agreement, HEU (with its FBA partners) have developed a template transfer agreement with health employers dealing with matters including:

  • Specific seniority issues
  • Union committees, representation and leave
  • Schedules
  • Transportation allowances
  • Red-circling
  • Health and safety
  • Casuals

This template agreement forms the basis of individual transfer agreements that will be put in place to cover members affected by the proposed transfers. Please contact your shop steward, local executive or union representative for further details.

Communicating changes to members

Reorganization of health services on this scale can cause a lot of disruption in the workplace as well as anxiety and uncertainty for members.

That’s why the union is committed to making sure members are aware of the changes taking place in a timely manner.

The union will be meeting with health employers to hear more details of the employers’ intended changes and negotiate agreements to protect members’ rights. Representatives of members impacted by these changes will be part of these discussions.

Whenever possible, the union will give advance notice of these changes to HEU local leaders so that they can provide useful and timely information to concerned members.