Peterborough Regional Health Centre

BIRTH OF A LOCAL......

A United CUPE Local 1943!!

Did you know that prior to 1990 the two hospitals in Peterborough were 2 distinctive and separate corporations?  CUPE Local 19 represented the CUPE members employed by Peterborough Civic Hospital and CUPE Local 243 represented the members of CUPE at St.Joseph’s Hospital.   There was no combined collective agreement and part time and full time employees had separate language and separate seniority lists.

In the early 1990’ the two hospitals merged services posing some concerns and unique challenges for the hospital and its employees.   The consolidation of acute care services was allocated to the Civic Hospital and Chronic Care services were allocated to St. Joseph’s. For a period of time during the early 1990’s there was another corporation formed, the Shared Service Alliance, which incorporated departments such as Materials Management and some of the surgical services/operating rooms.  At that time each employee still was employed either by Civic or St. Joseph’s.

In 1998 the Harris Government through the Hospital Restructuring Committee ordered the closure of St. Joseph’s Hospital with the expectation that all services would eventually be consolidated at the Civic Site. Both sites continued to operate while the new hospital was under construction.

The Administration of the two hospitals recognized that both locals would have challenges in bringing the membership under a single local. It was determined that since both the former Local 19 and Local 243 both participated in Central Bargaining with the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions and CUPE,  the collective agreements were somewhat similar. It was in the local language that most of the differences occurred. The Administrative Board agreed to let the two locals negotiate and review the contracts and choose what they felt was the superior language of the two collective agreements. The only stipulation was that the parties could not rewrite or change any of the existing language. The committee had to decide which language was, as it was written, considered to be the superior of the two and the best for the local and its members.

Once the language was agreed upon, discussions turned to the blending of the seniority lists.  Local 243, St. Joseph’s hospital had separate seniority lists for full and part time. At the end of the negotiations,  it was determined that both locals would recognize the seniority of all members on an equal basis-start date for service,  and seniority date as per the day of signing the combined local agreement which occurred in January 1999.

The Administration of Civic/St. Joseph’s Hospital and CUPE National signed off on the agreement and the two former locals became CUPE Local 1943.

Our history does not stop there.....

In January 2009, CUPE challenged whether UNITE HERE or WORKERS UNITED should be the union to represent the Compass hourly employees we have at PRHC. CUPE filed an application requesting the Ontario Labour Relations Board make a ruling on who should represent these workers.

UNITE HERE had  approached Compass prior to the opening of the new hospital and had them agree to voluntarily recognized Unite Here as their representing union.  Labour laws of Ontario allow workers to choose the Union they wish to have represent them.

Following this recognition UNITE HERE went through some changes of their own and part of UNITE HERE split from the main union and formed WORKERS UNITED Ontario. These two unions began a battle as to who was to be the representing Union of our Compass Canada Employees, leading to a lengthy delay at the Labour Board.

Prior to the opening of the new hospital, the positions now held by Compass employees belonged to CUPE Local 1943.   The hospital at that time was running its own cafteria and catering services but decided to contract out the work to Compass Canada. 

The Labour Relations Board ruled in December 2009 that CUPE would replace UNITE HERE as the bargaining agent of the hourly employees of Compass employed at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.  A CUPE National Representative was assigned to the local. An information session and vote was held at a General Membership Meeting of Local 1943 in February 2010 to accept the Compass group as a sub local of Local 1943.  As a result of that vote, a sub local was formed. CUPE Local 1943-01 became the local representing the employees of Compass. Each local has a separate employer, covered by a separate collective agreement. The existing contract negotiated between Compass and Unite HERE will continue to govern Local 1943-01. Upon the expiration of the UNITE HERE contract ceasing  November 30, 2011, CUPE will meet with the employer to begin the process of negotiating a new CUPE contract for the Local 1943-01 members. 

Welcome Local 1943-01!