1. Expand on the employer’s estoppel on union leaves and pay levelling?
a. Estoppel is essentially a notification from either bargaining party that a practise isn’t in line with terms of the collective agreement. In this case, pay levelling has been around for a long time and we took 12hrs from our 96hr pay period and added it to our 72hr pay period, to achieve 84hrs each pay period. With the introduction of Alpha premium we were levelling 16 hrs and seeing overtime pay. This was significantly impacting members’ pensions by approx. $14,000/year. Short answer, we’ve kept levelling as is, to see consistent pay cheques and no impacts to pension.
2. Why were no agreements made to enforce working conditions and workload in the Lower Mainland? Was anything agreed to or discussed in terms of ensuring crews are off within their designated shift time? If not, why didn’t the union make this a priority and bargain for improving mental health.
a. First and foremost, mental health of our members is a top priority, there are a number of provisions under the terms of the CA that have been arbitrated. As to whether or not paramedics can simply leave their shift at the end of their shift, or whether they’re obligated to complete calls that they’ve been assigned prior to the end of their shift, the union did engage the employer in this in the large dispute a few years ago. We arbitrated the matter and the arbitrator ruled that paramedics must finish the calls assigned, and that’s what the language meant.
b. We did have a discussion around staffing and staffing levels in the Vancouver post. It’s a priority to improve working conditions, you now have various clauses that will enable you to be able to relieve from work or take an hour a breather after you’ve done a bad call on shift.
3. Was there any opportunity for a longer 5-6 year contract?
a. No, the provincial government mandate that. Shorter contracts tend to benefit unions more because it gives us an opportunity to negotiate changes to respond to current economic conditions.
4. There is a green sheet that touches on the consolidation of seniority list. Is there any guarantee the consolidation of on call and full time list actually takes place at some point?
a. The green sheet is about consolidating full time and regular part time, the union doesn’t have a mandate from convention to consolidate the on-call seniority list at this time. We encourage people to write good resolutions to conventions. This can be debated and move forward.
5. Any changes for how far you can live while on pager?
a. No changes.
6. Are we in full compliance with atleast minimum standards set out?
a. Union’s understanding that we do comply with the minimum standard set out in the ESA for all aspects that we have come across within our CA. If others are identified, we will continue to work on those and have them addressed.
7. UC geographical change, is there language to cover this?
a. The employer didn’t want to negotiate on UCs, regardless of the number of challenges of the current model of supervision and not meeting its needs in the province. We do have an established working group through the assistance with Mr. Ready that suggested that the parties get together and have a serious discussion about supervision and what it should look like in the province. Ultimately, I will be arbitrating the force geographical move changes.
8. Does the expedited job posting process also apply to dispatch?
a. No, it only applies to PCP positions outside of Vancouver and Victoria.
9. Will there be a working group for PCP practise scope?
a. There was no discussion about a practise scope. That doesn’t mean one wont be created, once we start to see those scope changes roll out.
10. Are paramedics expected to go back to college for this new scope over the internal training?
a. In the short term, the employer paid PCP training will be run though the existing educational institutions. If we’re talking about the new expanded scope and the move to a diploma based program, everyone who’s currently working will receive appropriate training to have their skills upgraded to work to that new scope provided by the employer.
11. What resolution items were given to the negotiating committee that we didn’t receive and why?
a. The committee focused on our wages the enumeration of straight time, wages, and pensionable contributions for all members to maximize that benefit. So we didn’t focus on things like overtime. The focus really came down to how to increase our wages, our annual wage base and our pensionable time, so that our members can stop working overtime.
b. We had resolutions from 2019, 2020, and 2021 to deal with at this table. Those are compiled prior to us, even getting to the table. We then group them so things that are wages, things that are benefits, things that are working conditions, etc. The survey results also help us to figure out what we need to deal with and how to prioritize those. If there were 18 wage resolutions for example, we merged and brought that down to one that covers the individual resolutions.
12. Are there plans to expand the amount of ACP and PCP positions in the post?
a. We don’t necessarily bargain directly for staffing levels, service delivery is the employers responsibility. We would hope one we get through the massive vacancies they’ll go back to expanding the number of resources.
13. What about days off for those of us who are not Indigenous but celebrate other cultures and religions outside of Christian beliefs?
a. The Indigenous anti-racism initiatives were brought to us from government. They’re actually in all of the public sector agreements that are being signed and funded by government. At this time, as those paid days off are funded by government, not our member money, we didn’t pursue that any further at the table. We would welcome resolutions to convention to open that up to other cultural beliefs.
14. What did we have to give away to get what we got?
a. The union pushed the employer back on all concessions and gave up nothing.
15. What is the impact of the proposed rate increases to WorkSafe Payments?
a. Payroll will calculate retroactive WSBC pay where there is any change in pay rate. Where this applies to a large group of employees (as in the case of rate increases resulting from new bargaining agreements) we will engage system support from Business Applications team. We confirmed with the WSBC call centre that they do consider wage loss adjustments on retro payments which affect the employee’s earnings a year prior to the date of injury. Where WSBC already paid the maximum wage loss benefit for an employee, the wage loss benefit will not be adjusted.
Payroll will report retro payments to WSBC if the claim is open and ongoing, and the injury happened within the retro period. For closed or short claims, the retro payment is applied as part of the employer-paid top-up.
16. What is the impact of the proposed rate increases to Payments for members on STIIP or on STIIP during the Retro period?
a. Payroll will calculate paid STIIP as part of our retroactive pay calculations. If STIIP payment was converted to WSBC paid, Payroll will calculate the retro using the WSBC hours and average OT hrs and multiply it with the rate increase to get the gross retro amount; Payroll will then further calculate the net pay amount.