British Columbia health workers and bargaining association reach tentative deal

Deal includes wage increases, safety provisions, new drug card

The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) has reached a tentative agreement for almost 17,000 health science professionals across British Columbia who belong to the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSA).

The deal, which was reached after almost a year of bargaining, includes wage increases totaling three per cent, market adjustments of nine to 14 per cent above standard wages rate for pharmacists and safety provisions for on-call workers.

In addition, the deal brings back the 37.5-hour workweek, which was abandoned several years ago in favour of a 36-hour workweek as a cost-saving measure, and members will receive pay-direct benefit cards, which will replace the current system of reimbursement for payment of prescription drugs.

"While it has been a very rocky ride, including three days of rotating strikes in December, we have reached some significant achievements for our members,” said HAS president Reid Johnson. “Our bargaining committee has worked hard to make important improvements for members that will result in improvements to the system.”

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