Regulated Pharmacy Technician agreement extended for Lower Mainland

HEU and Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services have agreed to extend the deadline for conversions under an agreement covering Regulated Pharmacy Technicians.

HEU members now have until November 2015 to complete their bridging courses under the agreement. The original deadline was November 2013, and that had been previously extended to November 2014.

The agreement assists and supports members who want to pursue the new regulated designation and now provides more time for members who haven’t yet become regulated to do so.

Members in Pharmacy who complete their bridging and register with the College of Pharmacists within the newly extended timeline will become Regulated Pharmacy Technicians. They will keep their existing position without displacement or reposting, and they will receive the new higher rate of pay (grid 32).

At this point, the bridging program will no longer be available after December 31, 2015.

Since HEU and the employer agreed to the conversion process, more than 300 Pharmacy members across the Lower Mainland have completed the bridging program and have converted. More are scheduled to write their final exam in September 2014.

It is important for HEU members to seriously consider the bridging courses as Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services makes changes in its operations through 2015. Becoming a Regulated Pharmacy Technician increases pay rates, maximizes future opportunities, and minimizes impact on existing positions in the future.

HEU continues to have discussions with Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services as they implement the Regulated Pharmacy Technician role at various work sites throughout the Lower Mainland in an effort to minimize the impact on HEU members.

The union has established a similar extension with Interior Health Authority and is looking to establish similar extensions, where appropriate, for Pharmacy Technicians elsewhere in the province.

The FBA Education Fund was renewed in the most recent round of Facilities bargaining, and will be open for member applications shortly. This union fund has supported Pharmacy Techs interested in pursuing the regulated title. Members can receive up to $2,400 towards their bridging.

Please check the FBA Education Fund web page regularly for details on the application process and timelines.

To date, casual employees have shown less interest in accessing the bridging program. As Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services increase the role of Regulated Pharmacy Technicians in its operations, those casuals who have not become regulated will have fewer work opportunities. 

Casual employees are eligible for funding from the FBA Education Fund to help cover the costs of the bridging program. 

If you have questions about any aspect of the Pharmacy Tech conversion agreement and options please contact your steward.