Anyone hear about what almost happened in manitoba? We got our contract settled just in time, thank god.
When the union started talking job action by only refusing overtime and extra ***** - not even any type of real strike - the governement (ie the employer) tried to say that since our contract was expired, they were going to invoke the "essential services" legislation. This law is supposed to protect the public from complete withdrawal of essential services such as basic health care and fire safety, etc. Sounds good, except the way it is set up, the employer gets to decide what level of staffing is considered "essential"...
So, they said that because there is a nursing shortage, they could use the essential services legislation to *force* us to pick up shifts beyond our EFT and work 16+ hour shifts - because there aren't enough nurses in the system to provide safe care unless we all pick up extra shifts.
Like, duh! The point of us doing job action was to get them to increase pay so we could keep more nurses here and reduce the flipping shortage! (one nurse actually did get mandated to stay for 24 hours... union is investigating legal action on that one too)
The union was set to fight it in court, but they were able to negotiate a contract only 8 hours before we were set to start refusing to work overtime.
Is it me, or do management and governement look at the problem backwards from the way we see it?