PE rejects employer request for two-month retro delay

Eleventh hour request by HEABC an attempt to deflect  blame for mismanagement of RRSP adjustments, says union

HEU’s Provincial Executive has rejected a request from B.C. health employers to extend the deadline for the payment of retroactive comparability payments. The Health Employers Association of B.C. asked for a two-month extension in order to make arrangements for RRSP tax adjustments for interested health care workers.

“Health employers have had more than four months to work out these arrangements,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “This eleventh hour request appears to be an attempt to deflect blame onto the union for any problems workers have in directing all or part of their retro cheques into their RRSP plans.”

Allnutt advises members who wish to exercise their RRSP options to be persistent with their employer who is responsible for making appropriate payroll arrangements that meet Revenue Canada’s requirements.

It’s not expected that the employers’ request will delay implementation of this important phase of HEU’s pay equity win. Retroactive cheques are due by September 8. But the union has written HEABC warning that it will seek full interest payments to any workers whose payment is delayed — in addition to the lump sum interest payment already in the works.

Allnutt has also sent a letter to more than 1,000 facilities sector members whom 30 local employers and HEABC have unilaterally excluded from the comparability phase of pay equity.

“Your employer may tell you that they’re powerless to implement comparability on their own or that there are no funds available to pay for it,” writes Allnutt. “Address these claims directly by asking your employer to take the position within HEABC that your facility deserves equal treatment.”

HEU is taking the issue in front of Pay Equity Arbitrator Stephen Kelleher at a hearing scheduled for November 27.