Saturday, July 24, 2010


This one is probably a bit dated. The relevant events belong to last month, and it was duly reported in the local press, at least briefly. The story is an old and hoary one about how management fends off union organization by declaring portions of their employees as "managers" even if their supervisory actions rarely extend beyond seeing that their shoelaces are tied. Managers, of course, are out of the sphere of union bargaining, and they can be squeezed to the hilt if they are actually workers who have taken this legal loophole on the chin. The case, however, is hardly over as can be seen from below where , at least in my mind, there could be some doubt about the legality of what the real management has done in the face of a Labour Board ruling that authorized the MNU to represent the people involved. Still, you have to hand it to those "caring" social service bureaucrats for trying every possible avenue to avoid disgorging a few more shekels. Oh, they "care" so much. here's the story from the website of the Manitoba Nurses' Union.
Nurses lose jobs after Union obtains certification
Nine nurses from the Kildonan Personal Care Centre have had their positions eliminated after seeking representation from the Manitoba Nurses Union for the purpose of collective bargaining. MNU is taking legal action against the employer. During an initial meeting in November 2009 with representatives of the MNU, the Centre’s Resident Care Coordinators, raised concerns about workload issues, salary, lack of shift and weekend premiums as well as proper overtime provision.

MNU agreed to represent the nurses and on January 8,2010 filed an application for certification pursuant to the provisions of the Labour Relations Act, in order to obtain an automatic certification to bargain a collective agreement for these nurses.

The employer claimed that the Resident Care Coordinators were in fact managers and were not appropriate to be unionized because they were performing “primarily management” functions.

The MNU disputed this allegation and description of the work actually being performed. Hearing dates were set by the Labour Board to determine whether the nurses were eligible to join the MNU for collective bargaining and representation rights, but shortly before the scheduled hearing the employer withdrew their objection to the application.

On May 17, 2010 the Labour Board issued a certification order enabling these nurses to be represented by the MNU. After a five month ordeal, the nurses had a victory – or so they thought.

Three days later, on May 20,2010, Revera Living, the corporation that runs Kildonan Personal Care Centre, eliminated the position of Resident Care Coordinator, thereby terminating all of the members of the newly certified bargaining unit, effective August 20,2010.

After terminating these nurses the employer posted Resident Care Manager positions which contain many shifts, duties, and responsibilities which appear similar to those of the eliminated positions.The terminated nurses have been offered the chance to apply for these positions, but there is no guarantee that these nurses will even be considered for the newly created positions.

The employer alleges the new “manager” jobs will meet the test to keep these positions excluded from being unionized in the future. The MNU shall continue to monitor and communicate with all nurses in the eight Revera Living workplaces and requests that all interested nurses continue to communicate with us in regard to representation.

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