HEU fights move to "deunionize" Richmond counsellors HSA, HEABC says LRB should retroactively deunionize RADAT counsellors

Health employers and the Health Sciences Association are asking the Labour Relations Board to retroactively "deunionize" a group of counsellors at the Richmond Alcohol and Drug Action Team. The counsellors are HEU members. The HSA/HEABC move is in reaction to an HEU application in May to transfer the counsellors from its health services and support community certification to its paramedical professional certification. Under the Health Authorities Act, the LRB has this authority. Under HEU's paramedical professional certification, the counsellors may have access to higher wage rates and a more appropriate classification system. HEABC agrees that the counsellors belong in the paramedical professional bargaining unit but along with HSA, they've taken the position that the workers should be stripped of their union membership. "HSA's support for deunionization of our members is a bizarre and unwelcome development," says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. "Fortunately, this government's legislation is intended to preserve rather than deny the rights of front-line health care workers to union representation." It's the second time in less than a month that health care bosses and HSA have joined forces to oppose HEU's right to represent its members. At a labour board hearing earlier this month, the two groups opposed HEU's efforts to reverse a decision that moved clinical perfusionists into the HSA from HEU.