Pay equity hearing set for Nov. 16

At issue: Closing the wage gap for nursing team members

After considerable pressure on health employers, HEU and its union partners have secured a hearing date with arbitrator Stephen Kelleher to resolve a dispute over the allocation of pay equity adjustments for 2001, 2002 and 2003.

HEU wants to target pay equity monies to Licensed Practical Nurses and Care Aides. These nursing team members experience among the largest gaps between their current wages and their pay equity target rates — over 12 per cent difference as of May 1, 2001.

“Health employers aren’t interested in targeting pay equity monies to undervalued members of the nursing team,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “But with the support of HEU LPNs and Care Aides, we’ll put forward a powerful case for pay equity justice in November.”

Here’s where HEU and health employers are apart on pay equity increases, spread over the three years: Licensed Practical Nurses HEU 8% HEABC 4.4% Difference 3.6% or 74 cents per hour

Care Aides HEU 6.5% HEABC 4.6% Difference 1.9% or 38 cents per hour

Allnutt says HEU locals will need to mobilize members of the nursing team at facilities across B.C. to prepare for the hearing.

An additional sticking point in pay equity discussions, which broke off last August, is health employers’ insistence that Nursing Unit Clerks be pegged at the Clerk IV — R9 rate.