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Merger Updates: St. Joseph’s Health Care London

Merger Updates: St. Joseph’s Health Care London

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Bulletin #1 – April 2014: Parties meet at the OLRB

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Last fall, St. Joseph’s Health Care filed a Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act (PSLRTA) application to integrate the services of the Regional Mental Health Centre site with the Parkwood Hospital site.

On Tuesday, April 22, 2013 all parties (OPSEU, ONA, UNIFOR and the Employer) met for the first time at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) in Toronto to discuss this application.

The main issue is the structure of the current bargaining units.

What your Employer wants:

  • Agreement from all parties that PSLRTA applies to the integration.
  • Agreement that the new changeover date is November 15, 2014.
  • Currently there are six bargaining units and six collective agreements; they want to change that to four bargaining units as outlined below.
    1. One RN bargaining unit.
    2. One Service bargaining unit that includes RPNs.
    3. One Paramedical bargaining unit that includes non-union positions and does not include case workers, child and youth workers, child care workers, development service workers, rehabilitation councillors, pharmacy assistants/pharmacy techs, occupational therapists and assistants, physiotherapy therapists and assistants.
    4. One Clerical Unit.

What is OPSEU’s position?

  • OPSEU is asking for a separate bargaining unit for RPNs. In OPSEU Local 152 the RPNs bargained with our health care professionals in our paramedical bargaining unit. OPSEU negotiated that when our members were first divested from the Ontario Public Service. OPSEU has been the only union that has asked for RPNs to be in their own bargaining unit or to be recognized as a health care professional in our paramedical bargaining unit. We are continuing that fight.
  • OPSEU believes that the other positions in dispute should remain and or transfer into the paramedical bargaining unit. OPSEU has central bargaining for health care professionals across the province and sets the standard for working conditions and wages. We think all health care professionals should be able to participate in that process and not have to wait to see what we get before they start bargaining a new collective agreement.  

What happens next?

Because there was no agreement of the parties we will now give written submissions to the OLRB.

OPSEU has until May 9th, 2014 to deliver our submissions.

All the other parties have until May 26th, 2014 to respond.

OPSEU then has until June 3rd, 2014 to respond to the other parties.

Once the OLRB has read all the submissions they will issue a written position and rule on the disputes concerning bargaining unit configuration.

Once we know how many bargaining units and which positions fall into each bargaining unit, all parties will meet again to discuss access and vote arrangements for the upcoming representation votes.

Remember that all parties agree that PSLRTA applies and no matter what bargaining unit the OLRB rules that you fall into, your rights and collective agreement remains in place. OPSEU has the experience and the track record of enforcing your rights during PSLRTA mergers and amalgamations.

If you have questions, please contact us.

Connie Huziak
Organizing Representative 

Shannon Morton
Organizing Representative 

Lynn Easter
Staff Representative 

Carol Warner
Staff Representative 

Kim McDowell 
Staff Representative 

Sandi Blancher
Local 106 President 

Elizabeth Craik
Local 152 Acting President 
519-455-5110 ext. 47096