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History of Worksite 97

Worksite (Local) 97 was initiated around 1990. At the time, Local 97 represented every Home Care Nurse in the province of Manitoba which was around 700 nurses.

In the late 1990's the Filmon government brought in regionalization. Home Care Nurses then separated to become part of their individual Regional Locals. Manitoba is divided into 11 Regions; Brandon, Burnwood, Norman, Parkland, Interlake, Central, Assiniboine, South Eastman, North Eastman, Winnipeg and Winnipeg Long Term and Community Care. Winnipeg Long Term and Community Care consists of 31 Locals. Home Care is Local 97 and we are the 6th largest local with almost 500 members.

When regionalization occurred the Winnipeg Home Care Nurses retained the Local 97 designation. There were approximately 150 nurses at that time. In 2002, the former Victoria Order of Nurses (VON) became part of Local 97.

In November 2002, MNU receive the new Labour Board Certificate for the Winnipeg Home Care Nurses. Negotiations for blending the MNU Home Care Nurses' Collective Agreement and the former VON - MGEU Collective Agreement commenced February 3, 2003.

To date, Local 97 has made a significant amount of progress in a short period of time working with our employer to help make our working environment a better and safer place. The Local 97 executive continues to work hard and has made progress in the following areas:

Workplace Safety and Health - The executive of Local 97 has been involved in both Local and Central Workplace Safety and Health Committees. Local 97 was instrumental in helping reestablish the Workplace Safety and Health Committees in each worksite after decentralization occurred.

Local 97 executive has regular meetings with the employer regarding the safety of nurse's who work alone during the day and in the evening. Meetings of a few years ago focused on the needs of nurses to receive cell phones in all areas instead of just pagers which was implemented. Great strides have been made in the area of nurses working alone. Increased knowledge, education and communication has made more nurses aware of their right to refuse unsafe work. Other safety concerns that have been discussed and implemented include the use of approved sharps containers, safe sharps container disposal, safety engineered needles, lancets and pok loint needle devises. Local 97 executive continue to discuss with management the need for increased education of the nurses related to safety and health.

The Collective Agreement - Local 97 executive has worked hard to police the Collective Agreement. The executive of Local 97 has worked with the employer to make the master rotations, stats and vacations fair and equitable for all nurses. We at Local 97 believe that victory for all is achieved when the employer follows the Collective Agreement as it obligates the employer to be fair and reasonable where it affects the employees' job and future.

Bargaining - The executive of Local 97 has been involved in bargaining for the Wages, Academic Allowances, Shift premiums, Vacations, Recognized Holidays (Stats), Income Protection for Illness, Educational Development, Bereavement Leave, Pre-Retirement Leave, Input into decisions through Nursing Advisory Committees and Union Management Committees, Protection of nurses from unjust discipline, Pension and Disability and Rehabilitation.

Education - Local 97 is committed to education of the members in regards to the importance of filling out Workload Staffing Reports, Occurrence Reports, the Rights of employees to Refuse Unsafe Work and other work related issues. Local 97 has a yearly Annual General Meeting as well as frequent meetings for the general membership. We have information posted on the MNU boards in each decentralized office as well as a local website. Nurses are always encouraged to discuss issues that they may have with their local executive and area representatives.

Return to Work Meetings - the executive of Local 97 is involved in the Return to Work of members who have been temporarily unable to work. When a nurse has been injured they need to cooperatively work with their doctors, union representatives and WRHA representatives to facilitate a safe and often modified return to duties.

As always the union is only as strong as the members involved. Local 97 reminds all members that silence in consent. Continue to report all occurrences and concerns to the local executive.

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