Health Science Professionals employees have voted in favour of a new two-year agreement representing the fifth and final agreement for health-sector workers under the government's 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate.
"This agreement is a successful conclusion to health-care sector agreements under the government's Cooperative Gains Mandate," said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. "Guided by fairness, co-operation and sound fiscal management, these labour agreements mean greater stability for the important services in our world-class health-care system."
Employees represented by the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association voted in favour of a new two-year agreement that includes a modest three per cent wage increase for most employees and realizes savings through modifications to benefit plans.
This agreement between the Health Employers Association of B.C. and the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association covers over 16,000 employees working in B.C.'s health sector, including medical technicians, physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists and pharmacists.
This agreement is in effect from April 1, 2012, and expires March 31, 2014.
"Almost three-quarters of unionized employees in B.C.'s public sector are now covered under negotiated settlements, despite the tough fiscal environment. These agreements show significant progress is being made under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate," said Finance Minister Michael de Jong.
"I encourage employers and unions across the public sector to continue negotiating because agreements can be reached."
Agreements with all five health-sector bargaining associations have now been reached, covering over 100,000 employees in the sector. In addition to the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association, agreements have also been reached with the Community Bargaining Association, the Nurses' Bargaining Association and the Facilities Bargaining Association, all of which included three per cent increases, as well as the four-year settlement with the PAR-BC medical residents, which has two years of net-zero followed by a 2.8 per cent increase under the mandate.
The 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate applies to all public-sector employers whose collective agreements expire on or after Dec. 31, 2011. The mandate gives public-sector employers the flexibility to find savings from existing budgets to fund modest wage increases in a way that does not add pressure to the government's bottom line, does not add costs for taxpayers or ratepayers, and does not sacrifice services to British Columbians.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (Media line)