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$5M allowance fund for health science professionals – COVID-19 update, Component 4 - BCGEU

HSPBA negotiates $5mn allowance fund for health science professionals

Health science professionals on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in British Columbia will be paid a daily allowance on top of straight time earnings retroactive to April 1 under an agreement negotiated by the Health Sciences Professional Bargaining Association (HSPBA) with the Ministry of Health.

"Our members on the frontlines of patient care are crucial to B.C.'s fight against COVID-19 and they are bearing an enormous burden of stress, uncertainty and risk in their work right now that is affecting every aspect of their lives outside of work. I am so glad we were able to negotiate this allowance to give them some well-deserved support and acknowledgement as they lead us through this unprecedented time," said Stephanie Smith, president of the BCGEU.

Health science professionals on the health care team eligible to apply for the allowance include but are not limited to:

  • respiratory therapists making sure patients have all the interventions and supports they need to survive a serious respiratory illness 
  • laboratory technologists and medical imaging technologists performing diagnostic tests 
  • dietitians, speech language pathologists, and physiotherapists critical to recovery 
  • biomedical engineering technologist who are critical to the maintenance of life sustaining medical equipment 
  • social workers supporting patients and their families
  • licensing and public health inspectors 

The fund was created to supplement straight time earnings by $4 an hour for the month of April. It applies to health science professionals who work in direct patient care and who are not able to be physically distanced from patients at work, or who work with material or samples that may be infectious. The $5mn fund will be administered by the affected unions.

Details on how HSPBA members apply to the fund will be announced shortly.