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Unions Expect Cuts as Manitoba Continues Health Care Overhaul

September 12, 2017 3:50 PM | News

Kelvin Goertzen

Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen (CHRISD.CA FILE)

WINNIPEG — About 700 support staff at three Winnipeg hospitals will be impacted as the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority continues with its reorganization and consolidation.

Workers have been put on notice at St. Boniface, Grace and Victoria hospitals and include health care aides, unit clerical assistants, dietary staff, housekeeping staff and others.

Staff will soon begin selecting new positions based on seniority, the WRHA says.

MGEU and CUPE — two unions representing hospital workers — fear the changes could lead to permanent layoffs and reduction in working hours.

“Reducing full-time health care aides to part-time is completely incomprehensible to us,” said Shannon McAteer, CUPE health care coordinator.

“Health care aide positions must be full-time so care to patients is consistent, any health care provider can tell you that, not to mention the impact on recruitment and retention of qualified health care aides.”

The changes are part of the Manitoba government’s ongoing overhaul of the health system, introduced last spring, it says is to allow for better patient services at Winnipeg hospitals.

“As staffing ratios and mixes are adjusted to support more focused care settings and to improve wait times for services and lengths of stay in hospital, our commitment to both minimizing the disruption for staff and to ensuring transparency throughout the process, will continue,” said Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living.