Earlier this week, Mike Parker and Leanne Alfaro, respectively the president and vice president of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, emailed their members to let them know that HSAA workers had voted in favour of the mediated collective agreement with Alberta Health Services.
Prior to this agreement being approved by the membership, HSAA’s most recent collective agreement with AHS expired 31 March 2020, meaning that they’ve gone two years without a contract. On top of that, HSAA workers hadn’t seen any wage increases since 2015.
AHS had proposed wage rollbacks for over half of HSAA workers, retroactive to 1 April 2020; however, the size of the rollbacks varied depending on profession.
|Speech language pathologist||-8.69%|
|Health information management professional||-7.49%|
|Advanced care paramedic||-0.28%|
That’s an average wage rollback of 5.36%.
The AHS bargaining team had refused to back down on these rollbacks, and negotiations ended up in a stalemate, pushing the parties to enter voluntary mediation.
Last month, the HSAA emailed their membership to say that the mediator’s report took the wage rollbacks “off the table and replaced them with the following recommendation for wage increases for all members, in all disciplines”:
|1st||1 April 2020||0.00%|
|2nd||1 October 2021||1.00%|
|3rd||1 September 2022||1.25%|
|4th||1 April 2023||2.00%|
While these wage increases are better than the rollbacks that AHS has proposed, they’re significantly less than the increases HSAA’s bargaining team had originally proposed.
- 2020: 2.6%
- 2021: 4.2%
- 2022: 4.74%
- 2023: 3.66%
The mediator’s report had also proposed that HSAA workers received a COVID pandemic lump sum of 1% for every hour worked in 2021.
After holding several telephone town halls earlier this month, the HSAA bargaining team facilitated voting for its members, which ended this past Monday.
According to this week’s email, less than half of the members voted, but of those who did, 85% voted in favour of the agreement.
This 4-year agreement is effective as of 1 April 2020, which means it’ll expire in 2024. As a result, the HSAA bargaining team gets only a short break before they’re back at it late next year in anticipation of the next contract.
When we include the 4 years of wage freezes while the NDP were in power, HSAA workers will average a raise of 0.53% per year over the life of this new contract and the previous contract combined, for a total of 4.25%.
And during those 8 years (between June 2015 and June 2022), inflation rose by 20% in Alberta. Which means, this small increase is effectively a wage cut of 15.75%.
I received a copy of the email, which you can read below.