Agreement Reached Supporting Workers in Transition to Health Authority

April 24, 2024

In a landmark development, the Yukon Government, Yukon Hospital Corporation, and unions representing healthcare workers, including the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), have successfully negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This agreement aims to ensure stability and representation for unionized workers during the transition to a Health Authority.

The recent advancement of Bill 38 Health Authority Act, after careful consideration of potential amendments, solidifies the commitment to address the concerns of unions and healthcare workers impacted by the proposed Health Authority. Consultation arose after the Yukon Party proposed amendments to the act to ensure workers would be included and protected. With the support of Kate White, Leader of the NDP, the unions were able to negotiate an MOU with the office of the Minister of Health & Social Services.

For the unions, an MOU was the preferred method to ensure protection for workers in the transition to a Health Authority. President Acheson notes, “This was a unique situation. Without this MOU, we would have asked the legislature to support amendments to the legislation to ensure meaningful engagement with the unions and protections for workers through the transition.  We are grateful that all parties recognize the value of supporting labour, collectively working with unions and making time for this important consultation.”

President Teresa Acheson of the Yukon Federation of Labour commended the Minister of Health & Social Services and their team for their engagement with unions, ensuring that workers’ needs are met during this critical transition period. “We have witnessed great steps taken by The Minister of Health & Social Services and their team to ensure engagement with unions meets the needs of the workers.  The Yukon Federation of Labour is very proud to witness the incredible and timely efforts from the staff of PSAC and PIPSC to advocate for workers under very tight timelines.”

The MOU signifies weeks of close consultation between the Yukon NDP and union leadership, marking a significant victory for healthcare workers across Yukon. “This is a win for healthcare workers in the Yukon,” Yukon NDP Leader Kate White said Wednesday. “We told the Liberals they needed to work with affected unions to sign an MOU because the Health Authority Act didn’t clearly spell out how workers’ pensions and benefits would be protected, or how to deal with other labour relations issues,” she added.

President Acheson further expressed gratitude for the resolute stance taken by Kate White and the NDP Caucus in standing with workers and actively involving union staff and representatives in decision-making processes. “We are extremely grateful and impressed with the determination and strength shown by Kate White and the NDP Caucus to stand with workers and engage with union staff and representatives in determining the best course of action.”

Effective engagement with unions not only fosters collaborative approaches but also integrates worker expertise and insights into decision-making. By prioritizing union and worker representation, the Yukon Government ensures a smoother transition that upholds the well-being of healthcare professionals and the communities they serve.

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