Hospital Professionals Division

 

The Hospital  Professionals Division Newsletter

 
Issue #2 Winter 2010

HPD meets to set contract demands

More than 100 delegates and observers from participating and non-participating units attended our demand setting meeting in Toronto on Nov. 19-20. The purpose of the meeting was to put into place a set of contract demands in advance of contract negotiations that will get underway in early 2011.  Through extensive debate and discussion, it was clear that our members are in no mood to accept a two-year wage freeze, especially at a time when the McGuinty government is handing out corporate tax cuts to the tune of $2.4 billion.

HPD 2011 Bargaining Team Members

Sandi Blancher – Chair – Local 106
Sara Labelle – Local 348
Yves Shank – Local 659
Betty Palmieri – Local 206
Hervé Cavanagh – Local 466
John Francis – Local 346
Arnold Kwok – Local 575
Rob Field – Senior Negotiator
Michelle Dawson-Haber – Senior Researcher

 


Arbitration update

OPSEU members at Windsor Regional Hospital were awarded wage increases and other improvements in an arbitration decision Oct. 6..

Workers at the hospital will receive a 2.5 to 3.5 per cent increase. In addition, the award sided with the union on meal vouchers, vacation, prescription fees, vision care, shift premiums, standby and call-in pay.

The hospital argued that the arbitration panel should not award any increases due to the Public Sector Compensation Restraint to Protect Public Services Act.

The arbitration panel rejected the hospital’s argument. The ruling stated that other arbitrators had already made awards for wage increases since the introduction of the wage restraint legislation. In the recent SEIU Sunnybrook decision, the arbitration board took the position that there was no legal basis for the kind of arguments Windsor Regional Hospital was forwarding.

In November, at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, an arbitrator ignored the province’s wage and benefit constraint guidelines and awarded OPSEU members 2.5 per cent wage increases per year, and there were no cuts to their benefits. The arbitrator used the same reasoning as was used in the Windsor decision, stating that the government’s decree on wage and benefit constraints was not legally binding.

Bill 179 – Regulated Health Professions Law Statute Amendment Act, 2009

Bill 179 amends 26 health related statutes including the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). This bill received Royal Assent on December 15, 2009. Although the bill has passed, the legislative changes and related regulations will happen over the next two years, with full implementation expected in 2012.

There are a number of aspects to this Bill that are of interest to regulated health professionals. There are expanded scopes of practice for pharmacists, physiotherapists, dietitians, and medical radiation technologists

The largest issue for our members seems to revolve around the clauses that relate to personal professional liability insurance (PLI) for all active members of any regulated health profession.

The changes require that members of a college cannot practice their profession unless they hold personal professional liability insurance or belong to an association which provides personal protection against professional liability. Failure to comply can result in the College finding that the member has committed an act of professional misconduct.

The language allows colleges to specify the amount of PLI they require in their regulations or by-laws. Most seem to be at a minimum of $1,000,000 per incident. It seems that none of the colleges offer this insurance and that the best way to obtain this currently is through our national/provincial organizations.

Once the legislation is implemented, the colleges will require proof of insurance. The colleges do not all agree on the interpretation of the requirements for PLI as stated in the Act. It is recommended that you follow the direction of your respective college in order to ensure compliance.
 

Ontario first to recognize pharmacy technicians as regulated health professionals

Pharmacy technicians officially became recognized as a new class of registrant with the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) when its new Registration Regulation (Ontario Regulation 451/10), made under the Pharmacy Act, was proclaimed on Dec 3.

The College began the process of regulating pharmacy technicians in 1998. The goal of the registration is to enable the registered technicians to take responsibility for certain dispensing activities within the pharmacy, thus allowing the pharmacists to expand their services and scope of practice.

According to the OCP, they collaborated with stakeholder organizations to develop appropriate bridging education, accreditation of educational programs for technicians and a national licensing examination.

The OCP expects to begin registering pharmacy technicians beginning the week of Dec. 6. In accordance with the new regulation, only those individuals registered as pharmacy technicians with the OCP will be permitted to use the title of "Pharmacy Technician" in Ontario.

What does this mean for OPSEU members?

Individual hospitals across the province have been making the decision to register all their pharmacy technicians or introduce a two-tier system. For those hospitals that have chosen to only employ registered pharmacy technicians this means the employer has been issuing notice to OPSEU members that they must be registered with the OCP by Jan 1, 2015 or they shall be terminated. In order to register with the College pharmacy technicians must complete four bridging courses, write a jurisprudence exam and write the Pharmacy Examing Board of Canada (PEBC) examination.

Non-certified pharmacy technicians are also required to complete an evaluation exam, administered by the PEBC prior to Jan 1, 2012 in order to be eligible to take the bridging courses.

The bridging courses consist of four continuing education courses (about 150 hours total). Prior learning assessments and recognition challenge examinations are available for three of the 4 courses.

Once the key requirements, described above, have been met, individuals will be ready to complete their application for registration.

Job Security

This year’s provincial Speech from the Throne announced a plan to introduce competitive bidding for hospitals. Regrettably, this will cause increased insecurity for staff as the hospitals compete for patients, services and procedures.

A similar system was introduced in the UK and led to an increase in hospital bankruptcies as well as increased privatization of services. It has been described as a”lose-lose” situation, by the National Health Services in the UK because competition triggers increased costs and has not demonstrated an increase in efficiencies. Under this system the scope of service to individual hospitals shrink. It has been described as the opposite of patient centered care.

Also of concern in Ontario is the potential for review/reform of the Public Hospital Act. The OHA welcomes this as a chance to “tap into the expertise of our community partners”. This could lead to a transfer of hospital-based services into communities. The McGuinty government has said that the “money will follow the patient,” a system that we have been promised but have not witnessed yet.

Small and rural hospitals are particularly at risk as plans are also considered for the Health Based Allocation Model of funding, which would see more funds go to hospitals in regions with a large and/or aging population.

Prior to the release of these plans layoffs were announced across the province, with DI, Lab, Mental Health, Cardiac Care and outpatient Rehab being the areas targeted.

HPD Scholarships

This year OPSEU’s Hospital Professional Division awarded two scholarships. One was awarded to a student studying medical laboratory sciences, and the second was handed out to a student studying radiology technology. Congratulations to the winners and to all who applied!

E-mail for all OPSEU members in HPD

To improve our communication with members we need more email addresses!

That was the message delivered by OPSEU president Smokey Thomas at an educational weekend earlier this year in Kingston.

President Thomas expressed the importance of being able to communicate with the members through secure e-mail addresses – and not work-based email addresses. As it stands, too many members are still using their work-based email address.

Keep up-to-date with the latest information from your hospital professionals division. Please contact OPSEU Resource Centre at 1-800-268-7376 to provide us with your secure (non-workplace) email address.

Monitoring short term disability

More and more we’re hearing that many employers are now increasing their monitoring of short term disability that exceeds five days.

At present, hospitals have the authority to retain a third party which can call you at home during your sick time to verify the situation. Typically, they will also put pressure on the member to return to work.. 

The purpose of the third-party call is also to learn what is ailing you, a tactic that violates your right to privacy on issues of health and medicine. Be sure to know your rights and your collective agreement.  If you have been injured at work, complete the WSIB application ASAP, and work with your doctor to keep up to date on all your claims.  Suffering an injury or illness in a hospital setting is not uncommon. A new HOODIP booklet is now available for members (OPSEU Guide to the Hospitals of Ontario Disability Income Plan) and can be found on the OPSEU website http://www.opseu.org/bps/health/OPSEU-HOODIP-Manual.pdf

The Executive of the Hospital Professional Division wishes to extend Season’s Greetings and best wishes to all members for a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Visit Diablogue at: www.opseudiablogue.wordpress.com

Hospital Professionals Division

Executive Members

 

Sara Labelle

Chair

L348 – Lakeridge Health Corp.

Sandi Blancher

 

Vice-Chair

 

L106 – London Health Sciences Centre

Peggy Burke

Secretary

L662 – North Bay General Hospital

Pat McNamara

Treasurer

L566 – Toronto East General

Hervé Cavanagh

Education & Communications

L466 – Perth & Smith Falls District Hospital

Brendan Kilcline

Health & Safety

L444 – Kingston General Hospital

Susan Head

Job Security

L464 – Ottawa Hospital

Robert Sellner

Public Policy

L715 – Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Yves Shank

Chair – Central Negotiating Team/1st Alternate

L656 – Hôpital Régional de Sudbury Regional Hospital Corporation

Authorized for distribution by
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President
OPSEU

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HPD Index

Collective Bargaining

Local Issues & Actions

Medline

Politics

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Health & Safety

Joint Central Committee on Health and Safety

Who we are/what we do

Executive Members

Job Registry

Contact us

Dialogue Newsletter

HPD Scholarship Fund

Safe Sharps Campaign

HCDC End Workplace Violence Campaign


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