As always its been a whirlwind time for us here at Deer Lodge. We are facing major struggles with the employer from the senior leadership at Deer Lodge, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and this provincial conservative government.
Morale is at an all time low since the restructure that we faced in November. The residual effects caused much disarray among the membership from new work routines, new coworkers, new front line managers, and a complete disruption in vacation that had been previously approved being cancelled without mutual consent. The “creation” of the numerous positions left many vacancies which ultimately contributed to an increase in demand on the staff.
The approach that has been taken by management is to leave floors working short and a huge increase in overtime. The staff are over worked and not being appreciated for assisting during the current staffing crisis that we find ourselves in.
Even though the fragile state that the Centre seems to be in, it hasn’t curbed their appetite in making change, as disruption to the PCH (personal care home) program are imminent. At this point we are unsure of what those changes will look like.
Also imminent is the proclamation of Bill 29 which gives the commissioner authorization to make the necessary changes to reduce the number of collective agreements that are negotiated in the province. This is horrible news for our members and horrible news for UVAE.
At this point we are unsure of how long the transition will take after the commissioner makes his decision.
I have been very busy since we last seen each other in November/December. We met with the negotiator and the bargaining team in January to go through proposals, which to some may seem irresponsible but we have an obligation to our members until such a time that we are no longer PSAC/UVAE members.
The WRHA has contacted Linda Cassidy requesting that we place our negotiations in abeyance until we know whats going on provincially. I’m not happy about it but the recommendation from PSAC was to agree because the other unions are agreeing with the exception of MGEU (Manitoba Government and General employees Union) who filed an unfair labour practice.
In early February, I went to Edmonton for a Joint Regional Council/National Officer Strategic Planning session and I have just returned from the Prairies Young Workers Conference.
The amount of grievances filed is getting to be unreal with labour relations getting worse by the day. We had seen a slight improvement but unfortunately have hit adownward spiral. The local executive is very committed to continuing filing grievances and fighting hard for our members. I’m so grateful for the hard work they show on a continual basis.
Deer Lodge Centre