A message from
HSA President
Val Avery

In December 1969, a small group of paramedical professionals came together with a shared vision to pursue collective bargaining rights. Through peer outreach, word of mouth, and the help of a travelling Volkswagen van, paramedical professionals from across the province were recruited into the association.

Thanks to the efforts of these dedicated individuals, and the support of their colleagues who were seeking fairness at work, the Labour Relations Board certified HSA as a union in 1971. One year later, HSA achieved its first negotiated collective agreement.

What began as a meeting of health care workers representing just six professions from a handful of hospitals has transformed into an organization representing 20,000 members across more than 70 professions in health care and community social services. This tremendous growth over the course of five decades highlights how a small group of people can spark remarkable change.

In this commemorative publication, we honour the vision of those individuals as well as all the members over the years who have contributed to the development of HSA – uniting professionals delivering modern health and social services in all corners of the province.

We have accomplished a lot together that we can be proud of. We have improved working conditions and elevated the living standards of thousands, and we’ve defended and strengthened public services to the benefit of all British Columbians. We have stood side by side with our allies in the labour movement and beyond to create a better society for future generations. We have a lot to celebrate.

This collection of stories seeks to honour our history as a union and inspire us in our work ahead.

In solidarity,

A picture of Val Avery's Signature

Val Avery
HSA President