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March 23, 2012 - UFCW Canada Local 1252 members working at a long-term care facility in St. John's have sent a strong message to the employer that seniority must be respected when it come to scheduling — with a stronger one to come.
On March 12, about 100 members on their off-time staged an information picket and protest outside the Chancellor Park personal care home in east end St. John's because of management's refusal to respect the seniority provisions of the collective agreement when it comes to scheduling. Care giving services at the facility were not interrupted.
UFCW Canada Local 1252 represents nurses, licensed practical nurses and personal care attendants at Chancellor Park. "The owners have been ignoring the seniority rights of more senior members to have first bid on their scheduling preferences," says Mark Dobson, UFCW Canada's regional director for the Eastern Provinces, and president of the Eastern Provincial Council. "We met with them twice regarding the issue. They would toe the line for a few weeks, but then slide back into making a schedule any which way that suited them. Well, that doesn't suit the members or respect the contract so it meant turning the heat up."
The protest was one step. Grievances are another, and they are now in the process of being filed. "The members take pride in the care they supply to the Chancellor Park residents," said Brother Dobson. "They respect the responsibility they have to residents and their families. Now it's up to Chancellor Park to respect the seniority of the folks who provide the caring."