Manitoba introduces new essential service legislation

Healthcare facilities will require an essential services agreement be in place
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/04/2011

Legislation introduced in Manitoba today would require thatan essential services agreement be in place at all healthcare facilities in theprovince.

The legislation would ensure patients are protected in theevent of a work stoppage, according to Labour and Immigration Minister JenniferHoward.

"For almost a decade, we have had a voluntary system inplace for negotiated agreements respecting services that must be maintainedduring a work stoppage in Manitoba," said Howard.  "Now we are going to enshrine it inlegislation so patients are always protected and there is never a risk to theirservices."

The legislation would mean that there could not be a workstoppage at any facility where there is no agreement in place and seven days’notice will be required for any work interruptions.

Negotiations for an essential services agreement will haveto begin one year before the expiration of any pre-existing collectiveagreements.

The legislation has been created with consultation from healthcareemployers as well as front-line healthcare workers, such as nurses and labtechnicians, said Howard. The proposed legislation has been endorsed byregional health authorities and the Long Term and Continuing Care Association,which represents private personal-care homes. The Labour Management ReviewCommittee, which is made up of equal numbers of employee and employerrepresentatives, also supports the legislation, according to Howard.

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