Yukon Hospital Corporation Collective Agreement

Last September, the hospital conglomerate declared a dead end and a federal sled was called, said Steve Geick, president of the Yukon Employees Union. The Yukon Employees Union and the Public Service Alliance of Canada represent 303 hospital employees, ranging from security forces to licensed practical nurses. In addition, Yukon hospitals were in the midst of a huge technological shift when the pandemic hit. The Yukon Region has upgraded its health information system to 1Health Yukon, a new platform that allows physicians to access consistent health data across the region to improve quality of care and patient health outcomes. While software upgrades are welcome, moving an entire hospital to a new system is a d exhausting job. He stated that the provisional agreement was reached after two meetings with the arbitrator. COVID-19 appears to have left behind routine procedures to prioritize high-risk patients and reduce the spread of the virus in hospitals. Outpatient care is significantly affected. Health workers are now tasked with testing for COVID-19, wearing additional personal protective equipment and cleaning protocols in addition to their normal strict disinfection routines.

Yukon hospitals work with two collective bargaining units: YHC bargaining team members hope to improve these working conditions by making demands that make the health and well-being of hospital staff a priority. They are fighting to include basic health and safety protocols for critical incidents, physical distancing in offices, and member protection and safety measures in the next collective agreement. Members are also requesting paid quarantine leave for workers who need to stay home or wait for COVID-19 test results. Hospital workers need access to this type of vacation more than most others because they are most at risk of contracting the virus. Members of YHC`s negotiating team are currently in the process of conciliation and hope to return to the table by the end of the year to reach an agreement. Both parties had not updated the Essential Services Agreement since 2006 In addition to addressing the challenges of COVID-19, Yukon hospital staff are also negotiating with a difficult employer. Yukon hospital enrolment has reached dangerously low numbers. Many quality workers have resigned and are the cause. With each layoff comes an increased workload for the remaining employees, putting them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The two unions representing Yukon hospital workers say they have signed a preliminary three-year contract with the Yukon Hospital Corporation.

Jack Bourassa, PSAC Regional Government Vice-President, praised the staff at the territory`s three hospitals, noting that they “put themselves at risk to the communities they serve every day. A preliminary agreement has been reached between the Yukon Hospital Corporation, the Yukon Employees Union and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents more than 300 employees in various positions in Yukon hospitals. .

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