On December 7, 2016, the government passed Bill 41, the Patients First Act – an Act to overhaul Ontario’s health care system, eliminating the Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) and transferring them to the existing Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). These transfers took place from May 1 until June 21, 2017. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has been actively involved all along, meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care throughout 2016 and 2017, and submitting recommendations for improvements to the legislation (some of which have been adopted). Now that all CCAC-to-LHIN transfers have been completed, here are some Frequently Asked Questions from members in OPSEU’s Community Health Care Professionals Sector in LHIN bargaining units.
Q1. Will those in CCAC bargaining units remain members of OPSEU as LHIN employees?
OPSEU members will continue to be a part of OPSEU and its Community Health Care Professionals Sector (CHCP). In OPSEU’s structure, the CHCP falls within the Broader Public Sector (BPS).
Effective June 21, 2017, all OPSEU members employed as Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) employees have fully transitioned to their new employer, the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). With the passage of the Patients First Act, 2016, which received Royal Assent on December 8, 2016, the LHINs are now the employer.
Q2. Will all LHIN employees become OPSEU members?
When employees transitioned from the CCAC to the LHIN their collective agreement was protected. OPSEU – your bargaining agent – continues to represent you. Former non-union employees at the LHIN, who may fall within the scope clause of the OPSEU bargaining unit, will now be represented by OPSEU.
Q3. Are OPSEU members employed by the LHIN considered “public servants” under the law?
Yes. As per the Public Service of Ontario Act (PSOA) the term “public servant” includes employees of public bodies such as the LHINs.
The PSOA mandates the ethical framework in which public servants work. It outlines such areas as:
- oaths of office and allegiance
- conflict of interest provisions
- political activity rights & restrictions
Q4. Are OPSEU members employed by the LHIN considered Crown employees?
No. As a result of legislative amendments, the LHINs were removed from the schedule of agencies prescribed as Crown employers in the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act. The regulation (386/07) to remove the LHINs can be found at the following link: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/070386.
The Pay Equity Act was also amended to reflect these changes. The regulation to remove the LHINs can be found at the following link: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/070387
Q5. If former CCAC employees don’t fall under the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act (CECBA), under which legislation do they bargain?
By removing the LHINs as Crown employers from CECBA, it is the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA) which binds the LHINs to:
- facilitate collective bargaining between employers and trade unions that are the freely designated representatives of the employees;
- recognize the importance of workplace parties adapting to change;
- promote flexibility, productivity and employee involvement in the workplace;
- encourage communication between employers and employees in the workplace;
- recognize the importance of economic growth as the foundation for mutually beneficial relations amongst employers, employees and trade unions;
- encourage cooperative participation of employers and trade unions in resolving workplace issues; and
- promote the expeditious resolution of workplace disputes. (see OLRA, 1995, c. 1, Sched. A, s. 2.)
Highest-ranking contact information
Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN
Central East LHIN
North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN
North East LHIN
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