Wages & Compensation

WAGES & COMPENSATION

1.     With all the different premiums and pay, can we clarify what is pensionable?

a.     All the premiums we talked about are pensionable, they’re all apart of your pay and add to pensionable income.

2.     Will we still have double time for overtime shifts on weekends and nights?

a.     Double time will remain in place as part of the incentives that were extended up until implementation on the new CA. If the agreement is ratified, this will likely continue until April 1st.

3.     When will the wage grid be available to review?

a.     Wage grids are being worked on by HEABC. As soon as they’re available, the bargaining committee will review them and get them out to the membership.

4.     With the addition of the 4 and 5 year pay experience, does this mean the 10 year 2023 pay rate will be increased by $2 an hour in the 2023 pay grid?

a.     Tentatively yes, there’s an $1 increment added in year 4 and in year 5.

5.     Is there a mechanism in place to ensure the wages increases and additions to pay over the next 2.5 years are implemented on schedule and accurately?

a.     The union will hold BCEHS accountable and will seek awards against any breach of any arbitration order, and apply it to Supreme Court to force compliance.

6.     Paid training at straight time or overtime rates?

a.     No change, if you’re on paid training on a normal day of work you get paid as if you are at work, but you’re in cost for the day. If you’re on days off, you’ll be paid at applicable overtime rates.

7.     Can you clarify the EMR, PCP, ACP, 3 yr, 10 yr, 15 yr, etc. Is it total time in service inclusive of causal time or is it a one-time measurement of 2 different levels we’ve previously had?

a.     To progress across the wage grid (L to R) through base year, that is your experience in that particular license level.

b.     To progress down the wage grid through service pay, these rates are inclusive of all time worked in the organization. These carry with you as you move through classifications. Minimum hours worked as a casual employee to reach one FTE is 1950 hrs.

8.     Can we get a definitive number on a wage increase, including change the wage grid over 3 years, knowing that the CoLA increases could change?

a.     There’s 3 adjustable wage increases in the agreement, 2 of them are already set. The first and second year increases are the maximum amounts that are in the tables. The 2024 increase is 2% with a possibility that it could be as high as 3%. The only way we won’t get 3% is if inflation drops below 2.

b.     Hard to give a definitive answer as it’s a little different depending on what shift pattern you work and where you fit on the wage grid.

9.     What is the timeline for retro payments?

a.     If the collective agreement is ratified on February 14th, it will likely take 2 to 3 pay periods after April 1st to apply payment. Likely end of April or first pay period of May.

10.  When will benefit improvements take place?

a.     We believe on April 1st.

11.  When an EMR hits their 2, 3, 4, 5 year experience pay, are those amounts added onto whatever the current 3 year EMR wage would be?

a.     They receive all their experience pay on top of that 3 year wage. All the general wage increases do build on top of the 2022 wages.

12.  Will RPT and FT members be retro paid education leave for unpaid PCP precepting in classroom time since April 2, 2022?

a.     No, PCP training will only apply from the signing of the CA or signing the settlement agreement.

b.     Any EMR members who have accepted FT or RPT positions, they’ll be offered PCP training. If any members are currently enrolled in training, the employer will support them to finish training but no retro pay. It’s a go forward basis only.

13.  Will pager pay be retro active to April 2, 2022?

a.     No, pager pay will be on a go forward basis, but everyone is already getting $12.

14.   Why were the UC’s or any supervisors not given the wage curve increase in a similar fashion as ACPs?

a.     The additional $1.25 increase in pay between year 2 and year 3 was actually to deal with an anomaly in the wage grid, where they were getting significantly less than all other members moving through the wage grid in the same timeframe. We were just fixing an anomaly for the ACP category.

15.  I worked as a PCP for 5 years out of province, does that seniority apply to wage increase?

a.     No seniority credit given for out of province work.

16.  If ratified, will the retro pay be an off-cycle cheque so our regular pay isn’t lost in taxes?

a.     Added to a regular cheque unfortunately.

17.  For mix shift, 8hr of pager time – will call out in that timeframe remain at 4hr?

a.     Yes, you also achieve the dollar pager pay while you’re under 4 hr a call.

18.  With retro lump sum payment, is there a way to hold the employer accountable for providing tailored pay statements or some other user friendly documentation that will make it feasible for individuals to deep to the details of retro changes?

a.     We don’t know specifically what will be on your pay stub. We can ask the employer to provide an extending explanation and see what they can achieve over the next 3 months to provide that.

19.  Will RPT seniority be awarded retroactively?

a.     Yes, it just hasn’t been put on the list yet. It’s essentially being held in trust for you. As soon as this the amalgamation is complete, you’ll be on the full time seniority list with a date, and that date will be adjusted 4 times a year, based on your data of hire.

20.  Will the LTD rate increase because when you go on LTD it doesn’t include the premiums?

a.     We had a brief discussion at the table. The employer wasn’t interested in taking this course of action due to trying to give the majority of members the higher wage and premiums.

21.  Changing to an on-call shift pattern from SOC doesn’t protect employee’s employment status. The $12/hr is a stipend, it’s not pensionable.

a.     The working group will determine what stations are going to the mix pattern. It will consult with the members and stations and you will know all the opportunities that will be available prior to any changes.

22.  It states a 14% increase but the 5yr PCP IV wage shown on the grid is 25.5% higher than the current PCP IV 3 yr. Am I missing something?

a.     The 14% covers the general wage increase, which is part of the government’s mandate package. What we’ve done then is a strategic wage grid redesign outside the process of the general wage increase that everybody got, and then we’ve done a bunch of work in our wage rates to put money in your pockets after that.

23.  Was the dispatch alpha rotation considered during negotiations?

a.     No, but the hours you work in dispatch do count toward your progression in the paramedic wage grids. When you move from dispatch to PCP, there is no reset. So, if you came out of dispatch as EMD 3 years and you went to a PCP position, you would fall in the wage grid as PCP 3 years if that is your current license level.

24.  Will the night shift premium plug all hours worked on the new RPT shift pattern for remote stations or just on-call? Call out hours also? And does the weekend premium apply to all our personnel in the new pattern for remote stations as well?

a.     Premiums will be applied in the way they are now. When you’re on regular hours, you track those premiums. If you’re on pager, you don’t get it, unless you’re called out in which case the premiums do apply.

25.  Minimum number of hours needed for on-call members to level up on grid?

a.     You have to work 1950 hrs.

26.  What is the order of operations, mathematically, regarding wage increment changes to be applied for retroactive pay?

a.     First we add $0.25, then 3.24% on top of that, retroactive to April 1, 2022.  Then you add any targeted wage grid redesigns on top and service pay is always added at the end. There’s no retro GWI.

27.  For the mix shift pattern are there OT hours?

a.     You’ll receive 12hrs straight time for your 2 day shifts, if you do a call that extends beyond that you get double time, as any 12 hr shift. On your nights, we retained language for your last night shift. If you receive a call at the end of shift and it takes you into your days off, you will receive OT payment for those hours.

28.  Who are the 30% of staff that aren’t getting the same increases as everyone else?

a.     The grid doesn’t apply to driver onlys, EMRs and anyone else who’s in base or year 1. If you’re in year 1 as soon as you progress to year 2 you’ll see the benefits.

29.  Are EMRs receiving any wage increases?

a.     EMRs get the full GWI increase in accordance with CoLA, about 14% increase over the course of the CA. After we apply all the raises, the EMR wage will be hirer than the current top PCP wage. Premiums, weekend premiums and service pay also applies to EMRs.

30.     Just wondering if we can change the wording on the TA about the Night shift Stipend – right now it limits those of us who work 1830-0630 hours.  We lose out ½ hour of the pay on each and every night shift because we don’t fall into the 1800-0600 criteria which is part of the TA.  Can we please change this to just a “night shift” (without the defining of the hours) or else those of us ALS or PCP on the 1830 hours lose out compared to those on the other “designated” hours.

Hope this can be changed before we go ahead and ratify this agreement.  Traditional “night shifts” have always been 1830-0630 hours – the “new” 1800 start time is not the standard for a night shift so lets just include everyone that does a “N” shift can we ?

a.     Once we have a tentative agreement, there is no going back to the table to change certain wording. It is voted on as a whole and we will not be going back to the table to negotiate unless the contract gets voted down. With that being said, I think your understanding of the premiums needs to be clarified.

First of all, there is nothing traditional about night shifts. Start times range from Charlies starting at 1pm to Echos starting at 8pm. Our aim in the premiums for both night shift and weekends was to attract the majority, if not all, of our members.

All hours worked between 1800-0600 attract this premium, not just night shifts, and not just alpha nights. If your night shift goes 1830-0630, that means your day shift likely goes from 0630-1830. You would attract 30 minutes of the night shift premium for each of your day shift, or more if you go into overtime on your day shift. This would result in you getting 24hrs per block of the premium, same for an alpha 1800-0600 and those that are 1730-0530, 1900-0700, etc.

31.     Will a person who retires after April 1, 2022 but before the TA is ratified receive retroactive payment from Apr. 1, 2022 to the date of their retirement?

a.     Retirees absolutely get retro. Anyone in this situation needs to make sure that PHSA has an up to date mailing address as the retro cheques get mailed.

32.     I had a question regarding the re-classifications when ACP is going down to a PCP license, or vice versa. I understand that that you will not go down and pay from your previous rate of pay. But what if for example you are going from a ACP to a PCP unit chief position? Do you keep your ACP rate of pay even though it is higher than the PCP chief rate of pay?

a.     With the progressing through the wage grids language, the wage protection applies for people moving into a higher classification only. When moving into a lower classification (ACP to PCP for example) you do get credit for all hours worked in the higher classification towards all lower classifications as well.  So if you’ve spent 5+ years as an ACP, you would be placed into the highest PCP or PCP-UC wage upon taking that new position

33.     I work a Bravo shift pattern, is overtime paid 2x or 1.5x at shift end. Also shifts worked outside the regular hrs are 2x or 1.5x the regular hrs of pay?

Second is the weekend shift premiums, It’s made to seem that only Alpha shifts are paid weekend day premiums, If Bravo shifts fall on Saturday and Sunday are we paid 2.25$/ hr as well.

a.     There are no changes to overtime provisions in the new contract so for an 11 hour shift, your first hour of end of shift OT is still 1.5x before going to 2x after 12 hours.

The weekend ($2.25) and night ($2) premiums are for all hours worked during the applicable hours, on all shift patterns. So a bravo shift absolutely attracts the weekend premiums on Saturday and Sunday.

34.     Do members who recently obtained higher license levels fall through the cracks in this wage grid transition?

a.     On the advancement through the wage grids piece, we did push to have it apply to people moving up within the last year, but the employer wouldn’t budge. They weren’t willing to include any retroactivity in this. So unfortunately there is a potential for people who moved into higher classifications recently to get leap frogged.

With the Targeted Wage Grid Redesign, we had to carve out 30% of the membership to make it Me-Too compliant. Part of the way we did that was not changing Base and Year 1 wages. So it’s a bit different f creative accounting so while members in base and year 1 don’t see the immediate benefits of the grid redesign, they do benefit over the long term.