November 05, 2011 at 12:08 PM
As you know, as part of the end of strike legislation in 2009 the BC Ambulance service was moved under the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). Our movement into the health care sector necessitated the placement of CUPE 873 into either one of the five existing bargaining associations, or formation of a new sixth association.
In 2004, the Memorandum Of Agreement contained language (Article 1.2.2), which stated in the event that we are transferred into the health sector, the Ministry and EHSC would recommend the creation of a 6th new, bargaining association. Since this language was agreed upon, the Ministry and EHSC violated that agreement by instead recommending that we be placed into one of the five existing units, specifically the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA).
The union submitted two applications to the Labour Relations Board (LRB) on this matter; one based on 'Unfair Labour Practice' and the second a 'Constitutional Challenge'. It was the union’s position that the agreed language should stand, and we should form a new sixth bargaining association.
Today we received two decisions back from the LRB - both of the Unions applications were dismissed.
In short, the decision by the LRB regarding the FBA says that our Collective Agreement (CA) will be stapled to the back of the FBA Master CA, and will stay that way until either party negotiates anything either in or out. That means if we want anything contained in the FBA Master CA we have to negotiate to get it.
Although we are disappointed in the decision, we will be taking the opportunity to review the full document before commenting further. We will also be consulting our legal team as to what our best options are moving forward. We believe that a stand-alone bargaining unit for ambulance paramedics is best for our members and for the countless British Columbians we serve across the province.
This decision was received today, as union executives and local Paramedics were simultaneously meeting with MLA's around the province to discuss the pending ruling. We have been well received, and despite this setback, we plan to continue to build new relationships with all forms of government. We will forge forward with the many meetings scheduled in the coming weeks.
The Provincial Executive Board (PEB) will be meeting in a teleconference early next week to discuss the situation further. We will be in a position to communicate to the membership again then.
Ambulance Paramedics Of BC