UHR Update

Dear Members,

We write further to our last update about the implementation of Universal Hourly Rate (‘UHR’). UHR is now in effect, and will be reflected on the next pay cycle coming on April 27, 2017. If you are unfamiliar with what UHR is, and how it may affect you, please review the UHR information page here.

As we advised previously, the Employer and Union disagreed on some aspects of UHR, and its implementation. The Union advanced a grievance, and scheduled both mediation and arbitration dates to settle the disagreement. The two primary issues needing to be clarified were:

  1. Experience pay vs Service pay – how employees move through the UHR grid
  2. Service pay calculation date – when service pay is calculated from

The parties met for two days of mediation and discussed their perspective positions on each issue. Although much progress was made, ultimately the parties agreed to have arbitrator Chris Sullivan resolve both issues by way of a consent order. Click here to download the actual order. Each issue has been resolved as follows:


Experience Pay vs Service Pay

Experience pay will continue to apply to the following classifications: Emergency Medical Call Taker, Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Advanced Care Paramedic, Infant Transport Team Paramedic and Critical Care Paramedic. This means that when an employee changes licenses to one of these classifications, an employee will reset to the “Base” rate for their new classification. Experience pay is the “Base, 1yr, 2yr, 3yr” rates for each classification. The employee’s years of service, however, will not be reset. Service pay is the “10yr, 15yr, 20yr, 25yr” for each classification. This practice is reflective of how the pay system works currently.

Changes in licensure for all other classifications (EMR, PCP, etc.) will no longer result in resetting to the “Base” rate of pay. Other classification changes, like promoting to Unit Chief, or moving from On-call or Regular Part-time to Full-time status, will no longer result in resetting to the “Base” rate of pay. In all of these situations, an employee will continue to progress in the UHR pay grid without resetting.

On-call and Regular Part-time employees will now move through the UHR pay grids, and thus receive pay increases, based on the number of hours they work. 1,950 hours is equal to one year, with a maximum of 162 eligible hours per month. All hours spent on kilo pager, fox standby, spareboard or otherwise paid hours will count toward the monthly threshold. If an employee does not achieve 1950 hours worked in a year, then they will receive the next level of pay increase on the pay period immediately after they do achieve this threshold. The system to track and report hours worked will be implemented by October 1, 2017.

Full-time employees will continue to move through the UHR pay grid annually, for each calendar year they work as Full-time.


Service Pay Calculation Date

On a go-forward basis service pay will be calculated as stated above. That is, for On-call and Regular Part-time employees when they achieve 1,950 hours worked for each year, and annually for Full-time employees.

For all employees, all past years of service, based on the employees ‘Adjusted Date of Hire’ will be credited at the time of implementation. This means all years of both part-time and full-time service will be counted in determining the rate of service pay.

For On-call employees, this will be implemented as soon as possible, and paid retroactively to April 7, 2017. For existing Regular Part-time and Full-Time employees, any additional service years will be credited and implemented in the first full pay period of April 2018.


UHR Pay Grids

Updated pay grids are now available below. These grids reflect the final numbers agreed to by the parties. As the new UHR amounts are 50% phased in for On-call employees this year, there are two separate grids. In 2018, there will only be a single UHR pay grid.

To calculate your wage rate, first open the appropriate grid below, then find the rate corresponding to your number of years in your classification. Remember, dispatch and ACP classifications experience pay reset with a change in licensure, while BLS classifications do not. 

The actual UHR pay system has been designed in accordance with solely the Employer’s old interpretation in mind (that is placement in the UHR grid based on number of calls completed). The Employer is re-configuring the pay system to reflect the new rules, and will implement this as soon as possible. If an employee’s new UHR rate is higher than what was originally set, then a retroactive payment will be issued to that employee.

For additional information, please visit the UHR Information page on the Union website. On this page, you can also find a link to submit a new question to the Union.


Provincial Executive Committee
Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC
CUPE Local 873

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