Yukon Weekly

In the event of a strike, plans are in place to keep Kelowna General open

Plans are in place to keep Kelowna General open in the event of a strike

Key Takeaways:

  • As it prepared for strike action at its hospitals and other care facilities, IH sent hundreds of deployment letters to non-unionized personnel.
  • A strike vote might be held as early as May, according to the BC General Employees Union (BCGEU).
  • Non-contract employees at IH receive letters informing them that their new, critical service positions will begin orientation classes next week.

Interior Health (IH) has written hundreds of deployment letters to non-unionized employees as it prepared for strike action at its hospitals and other care facilities.

‘In the possibility of job action, Interior Health is mandated by the Labour Relations Board to plan for delivering critical services and continuous patient care,’ according to the letter acquired by Global News.

According to the letter, excluded (non-contract) employees and managers will be obliged to work a mix of their existing position and designated necessary services for 60 hours per week.

People in administrative, management, and medical director roles will be moved to other vital roles. Foodservice and housekeeping are included in this.

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IH has acknowledged that it is preparing if several of BC’s largest unions go on strike.

The BC General Employees Union (BCGEU), for example, has stated that a strike ballot might be held as early as May.

Negotiations between the union as well as government negotiators for a new contract for 33,000 public servants are now at a standstill, according to BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. Their last deal ended on April 1st.

In an e-mail to Global News, IH claimed that ensuring safe staffing levels for patients, residents, and clients is its top responsibility.

Plans are in place to keep Kelowna General open in the event of a strike
Plans are in place to keep Kelowna General open in the event of a strike. Image from CTV News

“By the needs of the Code that require services important to health, safety, and welfare to be continued, some health care services will be deemed essential.” As a result, some unionized employees would continue to work during a strike. These vital service personnel levels are negotiated or adjudicated as needed, and once finalized, the Labour Relations Board issues an Order,” according to the e-mail.

According to IH, non-union staff are obligated to provide key services and will be called upon to assist clinical and non-clinical sectors during any strike action.

Non-contract employees at IH are advised in letters that orientation courses for their new, vital service positions will begin next week.

Before any job action, IH hopes that the parties involved may agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Source: Global News

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