Work Site/Work Unit Arbitration Update (April 16, 2024)

Posted April 16, 2024, 3:37pm

Attention UPSE RCWs, PCWs, and LPNs working for Health PEI.  As many of you are aware, there were concerns identified by the members that the Employer was reassigning staff to alternate work units rather than their assigned work units or their positions awarded through the competitive staffing process.  Your Union attempted to resolve this dispute with the Employer through discussions but ultimately were forced to elevate the issue to arbitration.

The arbitration for this dispute was heard last week on April 4 & 5, 2024 in front of arbitrator Frank Demont, KC.  It was a two-day process which resulted in an Order from Arbitrator Demont.

The Order was not ideally what the union was seeking, but it does alter and modify the management rights that the Employer has regarding reassignment.  To summarize, the Employer does have the right to reassign staff, if there is a bona fide operational need, to a max of up to five (5) days per reassignment.  However, there are criteria required to reassign and it is extremely important to note that once an employee is reassigned, the employee is not required to accept another reassignment until other employees across the work units/worksite are reassigned.  The arbitrator was clear “the Employer shall reassign in an equitable manner.”

Reassignment refers to being moved from your regular, assigned work unit/neighbourhood.

Before any reassignment, the Employer must attempt to fill the shift by contacting employees to offer the shift required to meet the bona fide operational need. This shall be done via text message and/or telephone calls.  The Order outlines the shift will be filled from the replies received in the preference order:

1) Part-time employee who has indicated availability as per Article 14.30

2)  Any other Permanent employee in order of response time

3) Any casual employee in order of response time

If the shift is not filled, then the Employer shall request volunteers from the employee’s work unit before any reassignment.

The Order also outlines pay provisions for employees reassigned with a premium pay for alteration of shift based on whether the reassignment is made before or after forty-eight (48) hours notice (refer to attached Order).

This process is in effect until the expiry of the new collective agreement.

The Order for the Memorandum of Understanding applies only to long-term care facilities and is attached for your review.  If you should have any questions, please contact the office at 902-892-5335 or email and request to speak with a Labour Relations Officer. Also, if the Employer is not adhering to the process outlined above, please inform the office.

See Order (here).

Return to News