Bargaining Update

Dear Members:

We write to provide you an update on the status of the current round of collective bargaining. Thank you for your patience while your bargaining team has worked on your behalf over the last number of months. We understand many of you have questions and will provide an update with as much detail as possible here.

This confidential update is intended for / provided to active CUPE 873 members only. Members are advised in order to maintain the integrity of the bargaining process; members may not reproduce any part of the following update to any non-member. Members may not post this update publicly, on social media or otherwise.

Your bargaining team is comprised of the President, several members of the Provincial Executive Committee, the Negotiations Committee and our CUPE National Staff Representative.

Since January 14, 2019, we have concluded 47 days of bargaining meetings with the Employer and their bargaining agent, the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC). The last day of bargaining was on May 9th. The Union tabled a total of 80 proposals and 9 estoppels. The Employer tabled 12 proposals and 2 estoppels. These proposals could be categorized into the following main subjects: wages & pay, benefits, postings / selection, scheduling / leaves and general / housekeeping.

A total of 37 issues or proposals have been tentatively agreed to, while 10 remain outstanding. All other issues or proposals have either been combined, rejected or dropped. Although we have been able to reach agreement to what we consider as positive changes in many areas, we were unfortunately unable to reach a total tentative collective agreement, as of yet.

On May 14th through 16th, our Provincial Executive Board (PEB) met in Victoria to receive an update on the state of bargaining and decide on the next steps. The bargaining team detailed each of the tentatively agreed and outstanding issues. Those issues are:

Tentatively Agreed Issues:

  1. Full-time and Regular-part-time posting selection
  2. Early retirement benefit
  3. Service models (Remote, Rural, Urban, Metro On-call selection)
  4. Temporary positions
  5. Job classifications
  6. Full-time to On-call status changes
  7. Paramedic to Dispatch transfers
  8. On-call EMR selection / laterals
  9. Special Operations selection and training
  10. Orientation to practice (ACP Mentorship)
  11. Retire re-hire process
  12. Advancement through the UHR wage grids
  13. Paramedic training expenses
  14. On-call shift extension (late calls)
  15. Rehabilitation Committee
  16. CIS Steering Committee
  17. Short notice work allocation
  18. On-call Availability during educational leaves
  19. Vacation Selection
  20. Military Leave
  21. CIS Leave
  22. Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave
  23. Compensatory Time-off (CTO)
  24. Funeral leave
  25. Substance Use Disorder Fund
  26. Joint OH&S Committee
  27. Office of Expedited Arbitration
  28. Harassment process
  29. Definitions
  30. Employer terminology
  31. Paramedic terminology
  32. Practice Educator terminology
  33. Pager pay claw-back
  34. Past service calculation
  35. Probationary union dues
  36. Long distance phone calls
  37. Letter of Agreement deletions

Outstanding Issues:

Monetary issues:

  1. General wage increase
  2. Shift premiums
  3. Travel meal allowances
  4. Paramedic to Dispatch transfers
  5. Full-time Acting Unit Chief pay rules
  6. Extended health benefits

Staffing / deployment issues:

  1. Rural / remote staffing model
  2. Fox shift conversion to Full-time or Reg Part-time
  3. Kilo guarantee phase-out
  4. FT Irregular employee scheduling

NOTE: The issues listed above, both tentatively agreed and outstanding, are still the subject of bargaining and therefore subject to change. As well, at this time, we are not able to answer questions about further details on the issues listed above. Full details will be released as soon as possible.

Following significant discussion and review, the PEB gave direction to the bargaining team on how to proceed. We communicated that to the Employer shortly after.

We have now agreed with the Employer to seek the assistance of a 3rd party mediator, to help the parties resolve the last of the outstanding issues. Arbitrator Vince Ready has agreed to assist the parties, in a non-binding mediation. This mediation is scheduled to occur on May 29-30th.

We remain optimistic that we will be able to reach a fair and progressive tentative agreement, that moves our workplace forward on many aspects. If we are able to do so, we will immediately begin the ratification process. This will include information sessions to inform members of exactly what the changes are and ultimately a membership-wide ratification vote.

Please stay tuned for further updates in the coming weeks. Thank you again for your patience and support for your bargaining team.


Provincial Executive Committee
Negotiations Committee
Ambulance Paramedics of BC
CUPE Local 873