Universal Hourly Rate Implementation.
As we approach the implementation date of Universal Hourly Rate (UHR), we expect there to be several questions from members about how this change will affect them personally. Please receive this update as the first of many, as we progress through the implementation.
When does UHR come into effect?
Per the Collective Agreement, UHR will be phased in during the first full pay period after April 1, 2017. That means the new UHR pay grids will be effective on April 7, 2017, with the first pay cheque on April 27, 2017.
UHR will be fully implemented for full time employees on the above dates, while 50% of the changes for part time employees at that time. The remaining 50% of the change will be implemented in the first full pay period of April 2018.
What does UHR mean for you?
UHR will mean different changes for each employee, depending on your employment status.
For full time employees, the biggest change is the consolidation of your ‘base’ rate of pay, and your ‘shift adjustment’. This is combined into a single, hourly, rate of pay. It also means that any recall work (extra shifts) will earn a true 1.5x your full rate of pay. Everything pay wise will now be based upon this single hourly rate. This will drastically simplify our payroll systems and improve your ability to understand your pay stub. Service pay increases at 10, 15, 20 and 25 years will continue to apply, except that they will be calculated on the original date of hire anniversary, rather than full time hire date. For most full time employees, this means an increase in pay for additional service.
For full time irregularly scheduled employees, UHR will mean the end to factoring-up hours worked on shifts of less than 12 hours. Currently full time irregular employees who work a Bravo shift are credited with 12 hours worked towards their 336 hours needed in their work cycle. This will end, so if an irregular employee only works bravo shifts, they will have to make up hours to satisfy their requirement. The Employer has agreed to schedule irregular employees preferentially on Alpha shifts, for this reason.
For part time employees, the biggest change is a significant pay increase to achieve pay equity of full time employees. This pay increase will range between 16% and 40%, depending on your current status. This increase will be implemented 50% in April 2017 and the final 50% in April 2018. The existing 5 year service pay increase will be replaced with increases at 1 year, 2 years and 3 years. The service pay increases at 10, 15, 20 and 25 years will continue, but will be at a higher amount.
What are the changes for Unit Chiefs specifically?
Unit chiefs and other supervisor type positions will now have their rate of pay consolidated into one hourly rate, rather than an add to pay.
For part time unit chiefs, the monthly UC allowance based on station call volume will be removed. It will be reduced by 50% in April 2017, and the final 50% in April 2018. In trade for this, the part time Unit Chief rate of pay will increase dramatically. For example, a current PCPIV UC with more than 5 years’ service will go from a rate of $26.41/hr to a rate of $36.20/hr.
What does Delta rate employees being red-circled mean?
Except for Dispatch classifications, the UHR pay grid is based on the current Alpha rate of pay. The current Delta rate of pay is slightly higher than the Alpha rate, which means that Delta employees would suffer a slight reduction in pay if transitioned to the UHR rate. In 2014 the Union and Employer agreed to red-circle those employees, to protect them from a wage reduction.
Except for Dispatch employees, any employee who currently works a Delta pattern will have their wage red-circled. This includes transfer fleet paramedics, community paramedics, administrative positions, etc.
Being red-circled means that those employees will maintain their higher wage rate, and be frozen at that rate until the regular rate for their position meets or exceeds their red-circled rate. If the employee who is red-circled voluntarily accepts a new position, their red-circling ends and they adopt the corresponding UHR rate for their new position. Any employee accepting a position, which was previously paid at a Delta rate, after UHR implementation, will adopt the regular UHR rate for their classification.
Dispatch employees are not affected, as the EMCT / EMD UHR rates continue to be based on the current Delta Dispatch rates.
What parts of UHR implementation are still being discussed by the Union and Employer?
There are a few key issues in the interpretation of UHR that are scheduled for arbitration between the Union and Employer. These issues will not affect the UHR rates themselves, but will affect which rate an employee is assigned.
Experience pay vs Service pay – The parties disagree upon what the base, 1 year, 2 year, 3 year UHR rates of pay are based on. The Union believes these rate increments are based on total service time with the Employer, and never reset to zero with a status or classification change.
The Employer believes these rate increments are based on experience in a particular classification or job status, and reset to zero with a change in classification or status (for example moving from part time to full time).
In addition, the Employer believes that experience pay rules in Article 12.03(c) should now apply to part time employees. That means that moving through the base, 1 year, 2 year and 3 year rate increases would require the employee to complete 300 calls for each step. We are unclear how a dispatch employees would move through the grid, or what such a change would mean for existing part time employees who have completed less than 900 calls in their career. We have been advised by the Employer that no employee will suffer a wage reduction. For employees who have a lower call volume, and their resulting UHR wage is lower than what they currently receive, than they will be red-circled. The Union opposes the application of experience pay rules to part time employees, and will raise the matter at the pending arbitration.
If this situation may apply to you, we encourage you to seek clarification with the Employer on this matter. You can forward your inquires to the employee support centre at:
Service pay calculation date – The parties disagree about when an employee’s service pay should be calculated from. The Union believes that the new Collective Agreement language “achieving the following anniversary dates with the Employer” means the annual anniversary from which the employee was originally hired with the Employer. This would mean that all part time and full time service would be combined to calculate years of service.
The Employer believes that service pay is calculated independently for part time and full time service, and resets to zero when moving from one to the other.
Unfortunately, these issues will likely not be resolved before UHR is implemented, thus it may result in some retroactive pay adjustments when resolved. The Union will continue to defend its interpretation on the above issues in the coming scheduled arbitration, and will update you as soon as any resolve is reached.
What are the UHR pay grids, what will my rate be?
While we were reluctant to publish an updated UHR wage grid with the above issues outstanding, it has now become a necessity due to timing. The below wage grids are based on the Unions interpretation of the UHR language. As mentioned above, the UHR grids may grow significantly in size, depending on the outcome of the scheduled arbitration.
Where can I find more information?
The FAQ developed during the 2014 contract ratification is still an excellent resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding UHR. You can access this FAQ here:
Additionally, the Union has established a dedicated UHR help request information page, to ensure questions are directed at the appropriate person. To submit a question, please visit: https://www.apbc.ca/members-area/information/uhr-information/
We also encourage employees to seek clarification from the Employer, via the Employee Support Centre, which can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ensure you check the APBC website and email regularly for further updates on the implementation of UHR.
Provincial Executive Committee
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