This is an update to try to help you understand just what is happening with the planned closure of the Concordia Emergency Department and related changes. We understand from local management that these changes are still set to happen as of June 24, 2019, and we have not been told any differently by the WRHA or Shared Health.
For our members in the laboratory at Concordia, we know that you have all made your employment choices, and in some cases retirement plans, based on the planned closure date. Yesterday you received a letter from Shared Health confirming the status of your choice. MAHCP knows that any change to the planned closure date may affect your choice, and we have asked the Employer to include that other options will be considered regarding those choices if the closure does NOT happen on June 24, 2019 as planned. This includes any who have indicated that you would choose to retire rather than moving to a different lab.
For those of you in the WRHA and DI at Concordia, I will share with you that we have not yet heard from the Employer their final decision on numbers of individual positions that would be impacted by the planned June 24 closure. I spoke with many of you a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately we still do not have any confirmation from the Employer on the final numbers.
We all know that the Manitoba Government has re-engaged Dr. Peachey to evaluate the implementation of his recommendations. There has been plenty of media attention on this issue recently and MAHCP has been vocal about how this ongoing uncertainty is negatively affecting our members at Concordia.
So what does all this mean?
MAHCP has yet to learn what Dr. Peachy may recommend. Is he going to recommend that the Concordia Hospital maintains at the very least an urgent care centre? Is he going to recommend a delay in the closure? Or is he going to say that that the ER should close on June 24 as planned?
It is important to note here that the Manitoba Government has brought Dr. Peachey back for this review, not the WRHA nor Shared Health. This is a government decision. MAHCP has been meeting with both Employers over the past number of days, and I am certain that the Employers are awaiting government decisions, the same as the rest of us. The Employers were given a mandate for closure in June and have been working towards a labour adjustment strategy based on that mandate and our Collective Agreements.
I don’t often let the Employer off the hook, but until we learn something different, they are working under the assumption that the ER will close in June as planned.
If it does not, I want to assure each of you that we will continue to be there for you to make sure that any choices our Laboratory members have already made are not binding, and that we get the clearest information possible as soon as Government makes their plan clear in the wake of the Peachey review.
Our Allied Health members at Concordia have faced uncertainty for far too long, but I want you to know that MAHCP is working hard to advocate for and protect your rights. As always, I will continue to update you as we learn any new information.
Bob Moroz, President