Bargaining units combined by nurses of both hospitals

MANITOULIN—After two years of behind the scenes work, the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) was pleased to announce at its September board meeting last week the merger of the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) union locals between the two hospital sites.

Mary Lynn Wright, chief nursing officer for the MHC, told the board that the two separate bargaining units representing registered nurses had amalgamated over the summer months.

Ms. Wright explained that prior to amalgamation, nurses who were working part-time at one site but wanted to work more hours at the other site were forced to pay two separate sets of union dues and be placed on two separate seniority lists, one for each hospital.

This, Ms. Wright continued, was not conducive to recruitment and retention.

“It has been some time in the making, and over time staff will see the benefit,” she said.

Derek Graham, MHC CEO, explained to the board that having separate bargaining units at each hospital “was standing in the way of creating one MHC culture.”

Mr. Graham and the board then applauded the hard work of Ms. Wright and MHC staff in seeing the fusion complete.

Members of the new bargaining unit will now see a merged seniority list, as well as joint committee work between the two sites working toward common goals, Ms. Wright explained.

Alicia McCutcheon