Collective Agreement Implementation Update – February 5, 2020
Re: Collective Agreement Implementation Update
We have continued to meet with the employer and recently met February 3rd and January 22nd for our Joint Collective Agreement Implementation and SOC meetings; and have made progress on many issues including but not limited to the items detailed below.
Wage Increase and Retroactive Pay
- The general wage increase and retroactive pay for most paramedics has been paid out.
- CP wage increase and wage lift of $0.75/hr has been applied to all hours going forward effective January 10th.
- CP retroactive pay is on track to be paid on February 14th and will include hours worked from April 5th to January 9th.
- Pay for paramedics no longer with the organization is being processed and will be completed by March 2020. It will include the period between April 5th to the final date of employment.
- Manual calculations of retroactive pay for Off-car Unit Chief relief shifts should also be completed by March 2020.
- Current CP UC’s new rate of pay is effective going forward from January 10th, it will include the CP rate plus the Unit Chief pay.
- Retroactive pay for CP UC’s is still under review by the parties and we will update as we have information.
We are advised that BCEHS vacation pay outs were paid on January 31st. We recommend you review to ensure accuracy.
Six-month schedules were distributed to ISEs on December 24th with new schedules beginning this month. Distribution of the VDOC schedule has been postponed aligning with recruitment activities. As you all know there were considerable issues flowing from the Christmas Eve schedules. We have been working with the Employer and have significant concerns on the schedules and lack of clearly communicated processes. While we work through these challenges please ensure you are familiar with the Collective Agreement Language (ISE Agreement) and employer policy communicated to staff on October 18, 2019 Memo and December 12, 2019 Memo. Some of the key issues we have identified and raised are as follows:
- There appear to be considerable unnecessary gaps in many schedules.
- Employees were not being phoned to be advised of changes to schedule, some with less than 48 hours just entering on schedule without notification.
- Employees were unclear who to call when they are scheduled for shifts that are less than 12 hours (i.e. Deltas and Bravo/Charlie) what direction has been given to supervisors as to work and what they should do, as there seems to be inconsistencies, what work is intended for these hours.
- Employees are being scheduled with less that 48 hours and are unclear how to submit for premium rates as outlined in the agreement.
- There appears to be inconsistent scheduling practices, i.e. On-call employees prescheduled when Irregs have no schedule, last minute / day scheduling for known vacancies. Moving staff off platoon unnecessarily. We believe these are easy things to manage and should alleviate impacts on Operations, and both Irreg and On-call members.
- Employees when not scheduled for work are to report to their primary station but what hours specifically and again who do they call? Why cannot it just be indicated on their schedule as reporting to paper station?
- In our view the six-month schedules should be fairly easy to do as predictable work is already known, as well there are considerable open spots that can be scheduled into as unpredictable.
- Unfortunately, these issues and concerns are not just specific to the bigger posts.
We have expressed how these issues have impacted a lot of members personally but also how the operational impacts can be significant. We have worked through some of these issues with the Employer and continue to have discussions and work with the Employer to smooth this over and ideally get more realistic and better communication and schedules for you all.
We have received some responses and acknowledgment of some of the issues identified and received reassurance they have been addressed however for the overall issues we have proposed a small joint working group to which the Employer has agreed to work through the issues at a provincial level related to Irregular schedules.
We encourage you to work with your RVP’s or direct manager for specific issues related to individual schedules and situations
On-Call Shift Extension
In accordance with the On-Call Shift Extension MOA, a BCEHS working group has assessed current dispatch practises related to assignment of on-car transfer work near the end of paramedic crew shifts. Recommendations were put forward to the Joint Implementation Committee on minimizing shift overrun. The Employer Report was shared at our February 3rd meeting and implementation of recommendations from that report will occur starting April 1, 2020.
Eligibility calculations are on track to be completed in February, and benefits will be administered in March. For eligible On-call paramedics, please see the Employer FAQ.
This is an area we are reviewing to ensure we have mutual clarity in moving ahead with the new agreement language. A review of vacancies is proceeding and being validated, BCEHS is reviewing on a case-by-case basis. As we work through these issues, we need you to contact your RVPs around temporary position issues and postings. We are currently reviewing a comprehensive provincial list of all vacancies/positions with the employer. Please see Temporary Positions language.
As part of the rollout of SOC, on January 28, 2020 BCEHS Leadership and Operations attended a joint training session with the Unions SOC team for the FAID Quantum training which was designed as a mitigation tool that compares schedules for the risk of fatigue. This training was delivered by Peter Page for more information see https://www.interdynamics.com/fatigue-risk-management-solutions/fatigue-risk-management-products/faid-quantum/
Please see for further information on SOC and FAID Training.
The Employer is planning a series of face-to-face meetings and webinars for February and March to give paramedics and dispatchers an opportunity to provide input to SOC implementation. While it isn’t possible to visit all 92 potential SOC communities, locations have been selected to enable as many paramedics to attend as possible. The union leaders with be participating with BCEHS and we are advised they will be visiting the following regions to answer questions and gain feedback from you.
The meetings have been scheduled (SOC Schedule) for around the province by BCEHS, as part of the continued process for BCEHS Senior Leadership and/or Collective Agreement negotiating lead members to visit and hear from staff on the frontline. As a Union we have many questions as well regarding the implementation of the new bargained Collective Agreement. Specifically, the issues with implementation of the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) positions and the cessation of the Kilo Guarantee (KG). We are committed to working with BCEHS to implement these areas and resolve any challenges or issues affecting our members. As such, the Union’s SOC team have accepted an invite to participate in these face-to-face meetings. In addition we have expressed our concerns and potential employee and operational impacts with the pending (KG) rollout, we emphasized the need to it mitigate and work with deployment to better distribute work to alleviate where possible the impacts of KG elimination, some of which is outlined in the On Call Shift Extension Report (above)and strategies.
We are advised no decision on the final SOC numbers has been made yet. We believe this tour and meetings are a great opportunity to ask questions and provide your input directly with the key leadership of BCEHS. These sessions are open to all staff to attend at their discretion, and at any of the locations listed below.
All other committees continue to work with various BCEHS leaders to implement collective agreement changes.