In November 2008, St. Michael`s Hospital gave the union and seven nurses who were on contracts with the hospital`s I.V. team long-term dismissal periods. The dismissal was planned due to the rationalization and reallocation of certain aspects of I.V. therapy. The parties agreed that the planned eviction of the carers concerned constituted dismissal under the collective agreement. At the time of discharges, the hospital was in recruitment mode and was actively looking for registered nurses outside the hospital to fill vacancies. The nurses affected by the dismissal had the right to move to these positions. Articles 10.13 and 10.14 of the collective agreement also deal with long-term redundancies, but the redundancies envisaged in these sections are those resulting from integrations. Under the collective agreement, the meaning of the concept of integration is provided for in the Local Health System Integration Act (2006).
It states that nursing homes must now comply with the guidelines of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the ONA collective agreement and occupational health and safety legislation with respect to nurses` access to PSA, communication, testing, cleaning, staffing, cohorts of residents and self-isolation, and the arbitrator`s decision. Arbitrator Reilly found that the case law cited by the ONA was of no use in this case. In each arbitration submitted by the ONA, the parties were grouped together to determine whether workers were entitled to offers of retirement options in accordance with the language referred to in Article 10.14. In each of these cases, there was little information on the reasons for the dismissals. The application of Art. 10.14 is neither contested nor the subject of immediate attention by the arbitrator. None of the cases addressed the key question in this case: when will workers be entitled to Article 10.14? Due to the absence of an arbitration award for the purposes of section 10.14, Arbitrator Reilly had to base his decision on an interpretation of the relevant provisions of the collective agreement. In Participating Nursing Homes v.
The Ontario Nurses Association, 2020 CanLII 36663, argued to the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) that employees who were not in the workplace due to self-isolation from COVID-19, but who were asymptomatic and did not test positive for COVID-19, should be considered “sick” and be entitled to sickness benefits under the parties` collective agreement. Arbitrator Reilly`s decision makes hospitalized employers a little optimistic about the conditions of dismissal provided for in the ONA`s collective agreement and the corresponding obligations regarding the payment of old-age and separation benefits. Prior to Arbitrator Reilly`s decision, the arbitrators consistently decided that a nurse was entitled to an old-age and/or separation allowance after the ona provisions were triggered, even if vacancies existed elsewhere in the hospital concerned. The resulting costs to hospitals have been significant. In support of this interpretation, Arbitrator Reilly found that, in drawing up the collective agreement, the parties agreed on separate articles providing for different rights in the event of long-term dismissal. He clarified that the arbitrator found that the early retirement and separation benefits provided for in Article 10.14 were available only if the dismissals were consequent on integration. Dismissals for other reasons, such as in this case, triggered the requirements of Article 10.09, but not those of Article 10.14. Since the employer had provided the benefit opportunities required by section 10.09, there was no violation of the collective agreement in the circumstances and the remedy was dismissed. Cornwall Community Hospital is a 156-bed hospital in Cornwall, Ont. The collective agreement with the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) did not contain a uniform allowance, but the hospital had a dress code since 2005.
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