Government Provides New Details About Health Care Representation Votes

Sep 14, 2018

Yesterday, MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky met with government officials to discuss the upcoming health sector representation votes triggered by the Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act (Bill 29). Heading into the meeting health care unions were aware that the government is organizing new bargaining units based on six “Health Employers Organizations”:

  1. Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority
  2. Northern Regional Health Authority
  3. Prairie Mountain Regional Health Authority
  4. Southern Health-Sante Sud
  5. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA)
  6. Shared Health

However, impacted health care workers have been waiting for the government to provide a full and final list showing which new bargaining unit they will become part of. Yesterday, the government provided some new details about this list and, in some cases, changed information that had previously been provided. While the information provided will not be final until the provincial cabinet approves it in regulation, the MGEU believes it is important that all health workers get the latest, most up-to-date information available from government.

What’s new?

  • The government says that workers at Main Street Project and St. Amant will not be involved in health care representation votes. This is a change from information they had previously provided.
  • Eden Mental Health Centre will become part of Shared Health, and workers there will be participating in the Shared Health representation votes. They will no longer fall under the Southern Health organization.
  • Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre will become part of Shared Health, and workers there will be participating in the Shared Health representation votes. They will no longer fall under the WRHA.
  • The WRHA will remain as the employer for members at Selkirk Laundry. The government had previously said that laundry services would be centralized at Shared Health, but yesterday’s announcement changed that. Workers at Selkirk Laundry will be part of the WRHA facility support vote.
  • The government confirmed again that rural staff and paramedics involved in EMS/patient transport functions will be part of Shared Health and will participate in the Shared Health votes. This includes administrative and support staff and members at the Medical Transportation Coordination Centre. The government also confirmed that staff at municipally-managed EMS services (Winnipeg, Brandon, and Thompson) will not be part of Shared Health and will not be involved in the representation votes.
  • All staff involved in diagnostic imaging programs, including administrative, support, and technical/professional staff, will become part of Shared Health and participate in the Shared Health votes. Previously, the government had not said if administrative and support staff would also be included in the transfer to Shared Health.

What we don’t know:

  • Once again, the government failed to provide any details about when the votes will begin, which votes will happen first, and how the votes be conducted.
  • They also failed to provide unions with a comprehensive list of which classifications will be slotted into which group of health workers (health sector) per employer.

What you should know:

Since Bill 29 was first introduced well over a year ago, the MGEU and other unions have repeatedly told the government that representation votes would achieve nothing in terms of improving patient care. Unfortunately, they continue to push forward with these unnecessary votes, just as our union will continue to push government for more information so that all health care workers involved can make an informed decision.

Learn more about why the MGEU is the best choice for health support workers and technical / professional / EMS workers.   

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