After weeks of painstaking and difficult negotiations with Employer representatives in the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS), MAHCP has reached an agreement that covers MAHCP members who work in, or are redeployed to, certain pandemic-related settings including Personal Care Homes (PCH), critical care units, COVID wards, Alternative Isolation Accommodations (AIA) and those redeployed from Shared Health or WRHA to work in Northern Manitoba. The agreement is retroactive to November 1, 2020 and also covers shift disruptions where a change of one hour or greater in posted work schedule is required.
We have learned many lessons from the first MOU on redeployment signed by MAHCP and other health care unions in March. MAHCP insisted that this renewed agreement include key provisions that improve member safety, ensure appropriate training and orientation, clarify communication and other processes, and ensure that key protections provided for in the collective agreement and in the previous MOU on redeployment are adhered to. We also insisted that the new agreement provides affected MAHCP members with compensation that is commensurate with what other sectors, including nurses, are receiving when working in or redeployed to certain pandemic-related settings.
MAHCP was asked to participate in a joint announcement with government on this agreement. We declined.
This new agreement does enable employers to make changes to work assignments, work locations, schedules, shift patterns and/or hours of work. MAHCP’s primary motivations for entering into such an agreement were twofold:
- To avoid a declaration of emergency by the Employer, which would set aside collective agreements and allow members to be redeployed or their schedules disrupted with only the most basic protections and assurances, and with no guarantee of additional compensation;
- To address the fundamental unfairness of a situation where MAHCP members were working alongside staff from other sectors (e.g. some nurses and support staff) who were receiving hourly premiums or other benefits that our members were not receiving.Allied Health Professionals deserve and demand at least the same considerations as other sectors.
Our guiding principle in these difficult negotiations was to achieve the best outcome for the most MAHCP members as possible. However, we recognize that this new agreement is specific to certain pandemic-related settings, similar to the agreement recently signed by the Manitoba Nurses Union. It does not recognize the increased workload, the heightened stress levels, the anger and frustration experienced by so many MAHCP members who are doing their regular jobs under extraordinary strain, but who do not work in and are not being redeployed to the pandemic-related areas designated in this agreement.
This renewed agreement on pandemic responsiveness does not achieve everything we asked for. The Employer attempted to keep its scope as narrow as possible in order to minimize who would qualify for various allowances and hourly premiums that have a financial impact. However, we were successful at expanding the agreement to include AIAs, where many of our members are being redeployed. In addition, we were successful in including language that improves key issues like member safety, orientation and other protections, as I mentioned above.
MAHCP will continue to fight for better protections, fair compensation and the recognition that ALL of our members so rightfully and urgently deserve.
Compensation Details of the Agreement:
Once again, this agreement covers MAHCP members who work in or are redeployed to PCH, critical care/ICU, designated COVID wards or areas, AIAs and those redeployed from Shared Health or WRHA to work in Northern Manitoba. It is retroactive to November 1, 2020 and also provides shift disruption allowances in certain conditions.
Key compensation provisions include:
- Shift disruption allowance of $25, $35 or $50 per shift where changes of one hour or greater to posted schedules occur.
- Hourly premium of $6/hour for members working in or redeployed to sites or areas as noted above (PCH, CCU/ICU, COVID wards or AIAs).
- $500 bi-weekly premium, $180/day redeployment travel allowance, paid travel time and reimbursement of certain travel expenses if redeployed from Shared Health or WRHA to work north of the 53rd parallel.
Once again the full agreement is available here. However, we recognize that the agreement is complex. If you have any questions, or if you feel that the agreement is not being honoured, please contact your Labour Relations Officer or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that response times may be delayed due to reduced holiday staffing.
Bob Moroz, MAHCP President