Legal manouvering by HSA will further stall important reconsideration of LRB perfusionist decision

Another stalling tactic launched by the Health Sciences Association will further delay a decision by the Labour Relations Board on a request from HEU that the board reconsider a ruling it made earlier this year that essentially strips health care workers of their union representation rights when transferred between the different bargaining units within the health system. In the LRB's original February 1999 decision, HEU argued that the board had improperly applied the Health Authorities Act - Bill 28 - when it transferred a group of clinical perfusionists from the facilities sector to the paramedical sector and arbitrarily determined that the perfusionists were now HSA members. Bill 28 is the 1997 law that safeguarded the rights of unions to follow members transferred between the different health care bargaining units. It serves as the standard that underlines the labour position on the transfer issue. HSA had actively campaigned to remove the perfusionists from HEU, so much so that the union was charged with raiding by the Canadian Labour Congress. Now, in the latest and bizarre development, HSA has seized on a related case involving HEU members certified as paramedicals and gained the go ahead from the board to seek further submissions and arguments on HEU's reconsideration request for the perfusionist decision. The net effect, says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt, is that a final review of the boardís critically errant edict on the perfusionists will be delayed further. Allnutt added that HEU continues to maintain the support of other key health care unions on the perfusionist issue. On the other hand he said HSA appears to be on a course of action that is antagonistic and shortsighted. Even health employers opposed HSA's stalling tactics. Allnutt says that HEU will keep up the pressure on government to amend the Health Authorities Act so that the original intent of Bill 28 cannot be misinterpreted by the LRB.