BURNABY—CUPE’s Health Care Presidents Council is urging its members in the sector to reject the tentative agreement between the Health Sciences Professionals Bargaining Association and the Health Employers Association of BC, and is launching a campaign to have members vote “no” in upcoming ratification votes.
“We’re asking members to vote no for two main reasons: wage increases don’t keep pace with the cost of living, so our members are being asked to effectively take a pay cut, and insufficient details on the new benefits structure,” said Leanne Toderian, president of CUPE Local 15, the largest local in the Council. “We firmly believe that if we get back to the negotiating table we can get a fair and reasonable contract for our members, but this tentative agreement doesn’t do the job.”
The tentative agreement, announced last week, provides for a 5.5 percent wage increase over 5 years, along with a so-called “Economic Stability Dividend,” which would see an additional wage increases if economic growth exceeds government estimates. If the Dividend had been in place over the previous collective agreement a member with an annual wage of $50,000 would have seen an “increase” of between $2-6 per month.
“All our members want a contract—but not any contract,” said CUPE BC President Mark Hancock. “It has to be the right deal. If this tentative agreement is not ratified, it means the parties will return to the bargaining table to get the right deal. In the view of the presidents council, this deal shouldn’t be supported, so I urge all CUPE members in this sector to vote no.
“And it’s not just CUPE that thinks this tentative agreement should be rejected. Both the BCGEU and the Professional Employees Association are also asking their members to vote no.”
Over the coming days, CUPE will provide members with additional information on the tentative agreement. Keep a close watch on cupe.bc.ca and CUPE BC’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CUPEBC). To read the tentative agreement, click here.
CUPE represents over 500 members in the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA). HSA is the lead union in the 17,000 member bargaining association. Other unions in the bargaining association are BCGEU, PEA, and HEU.