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CBS wants a new part-time casual workforce

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Letter from OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas to all CBS workers.

Dear CBS worker

The CBS is pretty clear it plans to lay off 111 full-time workers, most of whom are health professionals, and replace them with a new part-time casual, just in time worker.

Casual is a term we use to describe the nature of the conditions of work. This type of worker is usually paid less than the regular staff and no guarantee of hours or regular scheduled hours. The worker is usually expected to be on-call at all times.

It is our understanding new hires will require no set educational standard and the CBS plans to do their own training. If the CBS’s past record in training is any indication of things to come, we should be concerned.

  • In the past two years, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reported CBS allotted zero funds to education of staff.
  • An independent 2013 audit by Ernst and Young found CBS had not developed a comprehensive funding plan to facilitate support, training, information training and communications to staff as the CBS claims in its annual report.

If this is all about expediency and cost effectiveness then Mike McCarthy, a tainted blood survivor has this to say: “ Once you start watering it down to look at the lowest common denominator, whoever can put the needle into somebody or a donor questionnaire in a computer is certainly in my mind taking the safety is paramount down to safety is in the way of expediency and cost effectiveness.”

McCarthy continues to say, “I don’t think you can have both. You are getting cost effectiveness by having the health professional there; you are providing a sentinel at the front door of integrity that screens the donor as they come in the door.”

You as a CBS worker have taken a brave step to say “no” to a contract that would ultimately compromise the safety and security of Canada’s blood system.

On behalf of OPSEU‘s 130,000 members, I thank you, and know we will be standing with you.

 Warren (Smokey) Thomas,

OPSEU President