Medical Imaging transfers to Vancouver Coastal Health May 13

Nearly 500 HEU members working in medical imaging in the Lower Mainland will have a single employer on May 13.

It’s the latest in a series of service reorganizations that have taken place as a result of the so-called Lower Mainland Integration project.

Although no jobs are being eliminated or physically relocated on May 13, HEU members working in medical imaging in Providence Health Care, the Fraser Health Authority and the Provincial Health Service Authority will become employees of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority on that date.

In the last round of bargaining, HEU negotiated provisions in the facilities collective agreement that protect members’ rights through transfers like this one. The details of the transfer agreement are below.

As part of the agreement, an HEU committee of staff and members (representing medical imaging staff from each health authority and Providence) has met with health employers to discuss other details stemming from the transfer.

One key concern raised by the union is the impact on operations of the employers’ decision to terminate all temporary postings and require staff to return to their base positions.

Health employers are requiring any permanent medical imaging staff working in temporary positions elsewhere return to their base positions by May 13. And any staff working in temporary positions in medical imaging will be required to return to their old positions as well.

Obviously, the union has told employers that this action will compound staffing shortages in medical imaging and be disruptive to the ongoing delivery of services as a result.

Health employers have provided transfer packages to impacted employees, although it is also clear that they have not yet successfully identified everyone affected by their decision to go ahead with the transfer.

Members should also be aware that any employee on a leave of absence will remain with their original employer until they return to work, at which time they will be transferred to Vancouver Coastal Health.

The situation facing medical imaging staff currently on LTD is still in dispute.

The collective agreement and transfer agreement

The current facilities collective agreement includes a standard template transfer agreement designed to protect members’ rights during the transfer process. Those provisions include:

  • 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.
  • Access to the casual list with “receiving” employer for affected casuals.

The agreement also covers issues such as:

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

If you have any questions about the transfer, please contact a shop steward or your HEU servicing representative.

HEU members in medical imaging will also have received an April 21 bulletin entitled “Staff FAQ #3” from health employers regarding the May 13 transfer. Members are reminded that the positions taken in the Q& A document are those of the employers.