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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Union Fights for Speech Pathologists

Grey Bruce | by Kevin┬áBernard  

OPSEU threatens to go to Labour Relations Board to save speech pathologist jobs.

OPSEU President, Warren "Smokey" Thomas plans to fight to keep speech pathology jobs in the area.

One option he says is to take the issue to the Labour Relations Board.

Grey Bruce Health Services has cut the jobs of seven speech pathologists and assistants -- hoping they will apply for new jobs at the Grey Bruce Health Unit.

The workers -- who help children with speech problems -- received their layoff notice last Thursday and their final day will be August 31st.

Thomas says the Southwest LHIN, the hospital and the Health Unit all have some blame to face, for their handling of the health care cutback.

The Ministry of Children and Youth has approved the transfer of the program to the Health Unit -- but the hospital says it wasn't able to reach an agreement.

OPSEU President Warren "Smokey" Thomas alleges the Health Unit wants to take on the work without paying the existing salaries and benefits of the displaced workers.

He calls it a "bald-faced attempt" to save money on the backs of these workers.

The union is arguing the workers should be able to transfer with their rights intact, as have other displaced health care workers across Ontario.

Thomas says he is not surprised by the health unit's move.

He says it may backfire as parents may lose access to speech pathology for their children.

Thomas says the next step is to look into the legal avenues the Union has when trying to get the employees transferred with their rights in-tact.


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