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The Hospital Health Care Professionals Division Newsletter

March 2002
Report from the Chair
Patty Rout - Chair - Local 348

Stickin’ with the Union

During the past seven years, the Conservative government has relentlessly attacked our labour laws. Employers can now demand 60-hour workweeks, cut overtime pay, and make you work 12 days straight. We no longer have the right to refuse unsafe work until a safety inspector shows up.

Workers are working harder, faster, and putting themselves in more dangerous situations every day. We need the UNION more than ever. We have better wages, better benefits and safer working conditions than non-union workers.

Check the OPSEU website at for a poster on why you should belong to a union. As we begin negotiating our collective agreements, remember the value of your UNION and your collective agreement!

At convention April 4-6 we will have a caucus room Thursday night. Watch for the notice. Public health care is in jeopardy. Please make sure you support the motions on the Romanow report. As well, there will be a Health Care table at convention highlighting the posters from the February Heart and Stroke campaign by our members. I look forward to seeing you there!

Health and Safety Chair’s Report
Frank Pezzutto, Health and Safety Chair - Local 662

Multi-Workplace Joint Health and Safety Committees

What is a multi-workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC)?
A multi-workplace JHSC is a JHSC established and maintained for more than one workplace or parts of one. To be recognized as an acceptable JHSC arrangement under the Act, the committee must be approved by the Regional Director (RD), by an order issued under subsection 9 (3.1) of the Health & Safety Act.

Under what circumstances are multi-workplace JHSCs likely to be established?
A multi workplace JHSC may be set up where the workplace parties at separate workplaces under the ownership or control of one employer, seek permission from the RD to establish a JHSC covering some or all of these workplaces.

What is the Ministry’s position on multi-workplace committees that have not been approved by a Minister’s order?
All multi-workplace JHSCs must be approved by a Regional Director according to subsection 9(3.1). Where the inspector determines that a multi-workplace JHSC has been unilaterally imposed by the employer, the inspector may issue an order and will inform their manager.

How do the workplace parties start the process to get an order for a multi-workplace JHSC?
The employer should first request approval for a multi-workplace JHSC by writing the RD. The RD will be better able to consider issuing an order to permit a multi-workplace JHSC if a copy of the proposed arrangements, documented in written agreement, and signed by all workplace parties, is submitted.

What is the procedure once a request for a multi-workplace committee has been received?
After receiving a letter requesting a multi-workplace JHSC, the RD determines the merits of the request by reviewing relevant documents, considering other submissions and consulting with appropriate individuals before issuing an order to permit or deny the formation of a multi-workplace JHSC. Receipt of the terms of reference and agreement signed by all workplace parties will assist the RD in determining the merits of the request. The RD will provide a fair opportunity for all workplace parties to make their positions known concerning the request, and for filing the proposed arrangements and agreements signed by all workplace parties who support the request.

How is an existing multi-workplace JHSC rescinded?
Any workplace party may request to have this committee rescinded by writing to a Regional Director. If an amendment to an existing committee is requested, the workplace parties are asked to re-negotiate their own agreement. If neutral third party assistance is needed to re-negotiate the agreement, the workplace parties can seek such services from the private sector.

Specific criteria are required for a multi-workplace JHSC, such as: appropriate committee structure, procedure for the co-chairs to operate the committee, a method for the selection of alternates and their attendance at meetings, a schedule for meetings, and the number of certified members, just to list a few. For further information contact Brother Frank Pezzutto.

Recent developments in Local 444
Aimee Axler—Chair Central Negotiating Team President, OPSEU Local 444

What’s happening in Local 444? How does it affect the rest of the division?

Bereavement Leave

A recent arbitration award confirmed the Union position that there is no such thing as an “unpaid bereavement leave”. All bereavement/compassionate leaves are with pay!

Also, bereavement leave may be requested for people other than those referenced in the contract. The hospital has to consider the nature of the relationship of the employee with the deceased and the cost of allowing the leave– but the request cannot be denied simply because the deceased isn’t listed in the article of the collective agreement!

If you need bereavement leave, ask for it!

Transportation during off hours

At a recent Labour Management meeting, OPSEU advised the hospital that employees in the Core lab who regularly work at Kingston General Hospital (KGH), and pay for parking at KGH, and who are required to work various weeks at Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) for shifts beginning at 7am, should not have to pay for HDH parking!

Since their shuttle isn’t running at that time, the employer will provide taxi fare to travel from KGH to HDH for those shifts.

Lab Coats

After a ridiculous amount of discussion, the Union has convinced the hospital that people who work in labs need lab coats! Managers have been instructed to order up to 4 lab coats per employee (when the employee requests). Also, managers will establish which benches require the use of protective clothing other than lab coats ( i.e. surgical gowns).

Overtime for Part Time

Part-time staff should be aware that if they work more than 37.5 hours per week (Monday to Sunday), or more than 7.5 hours per day, they are entitled to overtime. Check your pay stub and contact your steward.

Part time Maximum

The OPSEU contract sets the maximum a part time employee can regularly work at 24 hours per week.

Recently we have become aware that several departments are exceeding this. This means that full time jobs and full time benefits are being denied to our members.

While we know that many members want part time work, some part time employees want a full time job! We are urging the employer to create full time jobs or to adhere to the contract. If not, grievances will be filed.

Public Policy Report
Pat Collyer - Chair of Public Policy Committee - Local 575

Bill 136 Lives on - What does this mean for us?

The end of 2001 should have seen the end of this legislation as it had a sunset clause. I am sad to report that the Tories have extended the life of the legislation. What does this mean for OPSEU members?

The legislation provides recognition of seniority and service for non-union and unionized workers where mergers occur. We still feel the effects of restructuring caused by the HSRC reports of 1996 & 1997. Laboratory and mental health reform, as well as other initiatives are still not completed.

OPSEU members in hospitals across the province were protected by Human Resource Labour Adjustment Plans. These negotiated plans provide for early retirement and voluntary exits when downsizing occurs due to program transfers and training allowances for displaced workers. Many members have already experienced the disruption in their workplaces caused by mergers and have gone through forced reorganization of their workplaces.

While some jurisdictions have managed to extend or negotiate these plans to expire in 2006, the hospitals in the GTA/ 905 region were only able to negotiate a plan that was in place until December 2001. In meetings with the OHA, OPSEU produced evidence that Lab and other program reforms were still ongoing. These were directives from the HSRC report. Initially the hospitals refused to renew the agreement so OPSEU filed for arbitration under the disputes mechanism of the GTA/905 agreement. We are now hoping to reach a deal with the hospitals and will know shortly if that is possible. Our members need the protection in a still volatile health care system as our collective agreements don’t provide these protections.

Announcing the Hospital Professionals division “design a logo” contest.

WIN $200.00

The division executive has determined that we need a new logo for a new division and we didn’t think we needed to look any further than the members for some creative ideas! So here’s your chance to prove your creativity.

We are inviting all members of the division to enter your idea for a Hospital Professionals Division or HPD logo to be used on letterhead, clothing etc. We would like to have the logo ready to go for the 2003 convention, so now is the time to act.


1. All designs must be received/postmarked by June 30, 2002. Send to Marisa Forsyth, 24 Bratt Drive, Amherstburg Ont. N9V 3X9

2. The decision of the judging panel will be final.

3. The copyright for the design will be held by the division.


Wrapping things up
Marisa Forsyth Local 143


Well it certainly has been an interesting first few months on the job. It actually has been much better than I had thought it would be. The public awareness campaign and mobilizing were amazing. Hats off to the mobilizing team! The next few months will be very busy with the Romanow Committee flying through the country, negotiations beginning centrally, locally or both and convention just around the corner.

Watch for the Health booth at the Convention. Please stop to view the posters and hear the latest Health Care news.

There will also be an evening Division caucus. Watch the screen for the day & time.

I have the great pleasure of contacting people from across the province as well as receiving information from them. Contact me at  

Best of Health to All!

Keep in touch with us

MEDline is the newsletter for Hospital Professionals in OPSEU. Contact Patty Rout, Chair, for more information.

See our web site at Please see BPS/Hospital Professionals.

If you wish to be added to OPSEU’s e-mail lists, please contact  and mention you are with the Hospital Professionals Division.

Your central bargaining team takes a well deserved break

Hospital Professionals Division Executive

Chair Patty Rout Local 348 Lakeridge Health Corporation (Oshawa)
Vice-Chair Mary Sue Smith Local 464 Ottawa Hospital - General Campus
Secretary Christine Luscombe-Mills Local 466 Perth & Smith Falls District Hospital
Treasurer Pat McNamara Local 566 Toronto East General Hospital
Education, Membership Marisa Forsyth Local 143 Windsor Regional Hospital
Health & Safety Frank Pezzutto Local 662 North Bay General Hospital
Job Security Jan O’Leary Local 659 Sudbury Regional Hospital
Public Policy Pat Collyer Local 575 The Scarborough Hospital
Chair - Central Aimee Axler Local 444 Kingston General Hospital
First Alternate David Hancock Local 571 University Health Network |
2nd Alternate Bryan Mitchell Local 570 Mount Sinai Hospital
3rd alternate Fred Wambera Local 106 London Health Sciences Centre
Trustee Len Fligg Local 347 Collingwood Gen. and Marine Hospital
Trustee Yves Shank Local 659 Sudbury Regional Hospital
Alternate Trustee Vera Power Local 311 Rouge Valley Health System

Authorized for Distribution:
Leah Casselman, President

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