Friday, November 2, 2012

Labour Relations Board issues Decision on Maintenance issues at PRRH

With a lengthy schedule of hearings complete and the Vice Chair having contemplated all of the presentations provided since January, the Labour Board of British Columbia has issued its decision on a long running labour dispute at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.

The decision, No. B233/2012 has found in favour of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local No. 882 in their filing against the Northern Healthy Authority and Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.

The Nature of the Union's application to the Labour Board was that the Employer was motivated by anti-Union animus when it decided to decommission the high pressure steam boiler at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital and replace it with an electric system

In making the decision, the Labour Relations Board concluded that The Union's complaints under Sections 6 (1), 6 (3) (a), 6 (3)(d) and 54 of the Code succeed.

Further advising that the Board will be in touch regarding a process for the appropriate remedies.

The hearings into the dispute took place from January 16-20, June 1st and 6th, August 1st and September 5, 12, and 20th.

Issued on October 31st, the LRB Panel's Vice-Chair Ritu Mahil provided a nineteen page report/decision covering the scope of the dispute in the maintenance department from the start of the process, to the decision released at the end of October.

It offers up some fascinating background into the dispute in question and the process involved in reviewing it. Providing a glimpse into the various negotiations and behind the scenes back and forth that most of us have no knowledge of in these heated labour relations matters.

The Analysis and Decision section (pages 13-19) of the report offers up a helpful review of the sections of the Labour Code that were in dispute, with the report issuing some strongly worded admonitions to the Employer over the handling of the issue at hand.

With 30 plus grievances in play in this one department before and during the scope of the issue under review, the impression of a less than harmonious relationship between union and management during the time of the issue seems to jump out at us from the reading of the report.

It will be with interest to hear further details of the review and what those appropriate remedies may be to bring to an end the nature of the dispute, one that seems to have occupied a lot of time for Northern Health management over the last year.

You can review the entire document from the Labour Relations Board website.

We also have an archive of other Labour related items of note in our North Coast Review Backgrounders section

Update:  Local media items on the ruling

The Northern View offered up this review of events, posted to their website on November 5, 2012.

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