August 10, 2017 5:30 pm

UFCW preparing for health care job cuts at St. Boniface Hospital

St. Boniface Hospital

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More health care jobs could be on the chopping block, this time at St. Boniface Hospital.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has told United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832 that changes could happen starting December 1.

The sides are meeting soon to determine exactly how many jobs could be lost.

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“We have another meeting scheduled with the WRHA early next week, and we’re hoping that we get the specifics at that time,” explained UFCW health care negotiator Marie Buchan. “And once we get the specifics, we’re going to have a better understanding of how many actual people are affected by these changes.”

Buchan is worried that the authority is making too many changes too quickly.

“Members are scared, members are frustrated, members are upset. We knew that we were going to be getting changes. We didn’t realize they were going to be this far-sweeping. There’s concern, definitely, that there’s a potential that members could be losing their jobs or not being able to obtain the same level of employment that they currently have.”

In response, the WRHA sent a statement to Global News, which in part reads:

“The plan for consolidation of healthcare services in Winnipeg involves significant changes, including the location and type of many services and programs. These changes obviously have an impact on our staffing. The way in which those changes are handled is largely governed by collective agreements, negotiated between the region and our union partners…We won’t know the number of impacted health care aide (HCA) positions until agreements with the unions have been reached, however we are aware there are over 100 vacancies for HCAs in our acute system currently – and additional vacancies in long term care and home care as well – so we are confident opportunities will exist for those affected. Both the region and the unions are intent on creating job opportunities for as many staff as possible and minimizing any negative impact to staff.”

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