Human resources is fraught with minutia. Given the complexity of administering a public hospital, it is understandable when occasional errors occur in human resources. However, when a hospital makes an error, it is usually not a good idea to compound it, as was recently done at the South Bruce Grey Health Centre. Recently a part-time staff member had two-weeks of scheduled work cancelled due to a lack of inpatients at her small community hospital, one of four locations that make up SBGHC. Two-weeks triggers eligibility for Employment Insurance, which she applied for. When the hospital provided her employment record, she noticed that it indicated a wage rate far below what she actually earned. Without the correct amount, she had to return with a pay stub to verify her correct earnings. When EI further checked with the hospital’s human resources department as per the staff member’s eligibility, the hospital was adamant that this position never had days cancelled. The claim was not only denied, but the staff member said she felt she was being accused of fraud. She had to persuade EI to call her direct supervisor at the hospital site to confirm that she did, in fact, regularly get cancelled days when the inpatients were too few. Local union executive members say this is the kind of treatment they regularly get at the hospital. No apology was forthcoming from the hospital. OPSEU, in conjunction with the Grey Bruce Labour Council, the Ontario Health Coalition, and the Friends of the Kincardine Hospital, are presently campaigning to draw the public’s attention to the shortcomings of the hospital, including failed labour relations and poor staff morale.
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