HSA condemns IHA flouting of collective agreement and Bill 29 in lab reorganization

The Health Sciences Association has learned that Interior Health Authority is planning a major reorganization of laboratory services in the region, and is condemning the Authoritys failure to consult the union when members jobs and service to patients are to be affected.

August 25, HSA learned that Interior Health Authority plans to reorganize laboratory services and that supervisory duties will potentially be stripped from long-service employees.

Contrary to the collective agreement, which recognizes HSA as the certified bargaining agent for members, IHA management started to pull individual employees aside to advise them that their jobs were at stake.

-This unilateral action by IHA is completely inconsistent with the agreement reached through collective bargaining earlier this year to meet, review, and modernize the HSPBA classification system through joint negotiation," said HSAs Director of Labour Relations and Legal Services Jeanne Meyers.

In addition to ignoring the mandate of the recently negotiated joint committee, the Authority is taking action contrary to the agreement reached under Bill 29 negotiations in 2008 that stated health authorities must meet at least twice a year with the union to consult on program changes and reorganizations that may affect union members.

IHA has not met under the terms of that agreement with HSA in the past year.

Meyers is demanding IHA cease and desist its actions, and that the union be advised and consulted and have its right to represent its members interests recognized.

-This is a serious breach of the directive and spirit of both the collective agreement and the Bill 29 agreement, and HSA will not allow the employer to run roughshod over union members jobs and right to representation," Meyers said.