Charlottetown – “The Provincial Health Council of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), consisting of four CUPE Locals (805, 1051, 1778 & 1779), along with other health unions on PEI, have consistently been stonewalled by the Ghiz Government in our efforts to be full participants in the creation of, and planning for, the new `Model of Care’ under the government’s “Integrated Health Services Plan” (ISHP),” says Bill McKinnon, CUPE National Representative.
CUPE represents 950 health care workers on Prince Edward Island. The majority of our membership are support service staff in areas such as Dietary, Housekeeping, Laundry and Maintenance in all the hospitals, manors and addictions services on the Island.
“Since January of this year we have been requesting, time and again, to have representatives for each of the four health unions to sit on the Build Teams and the Steering Committee for the IHSP and new `Model of Care’. In spite of that, government and their representatives continue to refuse to allow our representatives on these Committee/Teams. Managers, supervisors and even staff members – chosen by the Employer – are included and are participating, which we have no quarrel with.
However, we believe we should have the right to name one representative from each union on each committee/team as well. One committee had over 70 members on it. Surely four more members wouldn’t add any greater burden!
Further, based on the Premier’s consistent messaging for inclusion and consultation, one would expect that the government would want the Union’s to be full participants. We would expect government would want our input before decisions are made on a new system that will directly affect the people that we represent and who will ultimately be expected to make the new Model work! It’s a `no-brainer’ from where we stand.
Unfortunately all we have been offered, after numerous meetings and letters being exchanged on the topic, is a basic labour relations forum where Employer representatives, after the fact, `spoon feed’ the Union leadership information on decisions already made and on processes already determined and which they feel is appropriate. Consequently, we have no way to confirm the veracity, quality, or comprehensiveness of that information.
The result has been a great deal of unnecessary stress for the health care workers we represent due to a flurry of rumours, innuendoes and misinformation flying through the system with no way for the democratically elected Union leadership and representatives to separate fact from fiction.
The consequences of these government choices, if they remain unchanged, have the potential of putting us needlessly on a collision course,” concluded McKinnon.