Charlottetown blood donor clinic staff want guaranteed minimum hours

Dave Stewart
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Part-time staff at Canadian Blood Services in Charlottetown are walking the picket line this week in a dispute over the number of hours they work each week. The workers want a guaranteed minimum and say they have been working without a contract since 2011. As of Wednesday afternoon, there was no progress reported between the two sides.

A regular donor at the Charlottetown Blood Services clinic is donating his time in a different way this week.

Ken MacLeod of Charlottetown dropped by the picket line on Fitzroy Street on Wednesday to show his support for the 11 part-time workers who walked off the job Monday morning in a dispute over guaranteed hours.

“These girls are making a living, taking my gift of life as it’s called, and giving it to people who need it,’’ said MacLeod, who said he’s up to 275 donations of platelets. “Any support I can give to these young ladies I’m happy to do it.’’

Tanya Herrell, president of the local Nova Scotia Union of Public and Private Employees, said they’ve been without a contract since 2011.

They’re asking for more stability in terms of hours.

“We just want a guarantee in hours,’’ Herrell said. “Three of us are trained for every aspect of the clinic so we have been getting full time hours-plus over two years now. We know the hours are there.’’

A person needs to work a minimum of 18.75 hours per week to maintain benefits. Herrell said they want three employees to be guaranteed 30 hours, two employees at 22 hours and one at 18.75 hours.

The clinic on Fitzroy Street is closed this week in light of the labour disruption. Canadian Blood Services has tentatively scheduled a mobile clinic for Summerside later this month but haven’t decided if it will go ahead.

Herrell said staff need to be available around the clock, making it difficult to find other work to supplement their income.

Canadian Blood Services tries to schedule 70 blood donor appointments per day but said that due to missed appointments, etc., the number is likely closer to 100 lost appointments for the week.

“We’re urging our loyal P.E.I. donors to hold off and wait until we’re back working and can come back in the clinic and see us,’’ she said.

Peter MacDonald, director of donor relations for Canadian Blood Services in Atlantic Canada, assures Islanders blood and blood product deliveries to hospitals will continue.

“We’re not expecting any impact on patient care and will be able to supply hospitals with inventory from our national inventory. Supply won’t be interrupted in P.E.I. whatsoever,’’ MacDonald said.

In addition, Herrell said two workers have been told their jobs will be cut in February because the organization will begin using an automated system with kiosks to register donors.

MacDonald confirmed that information but added that “staff impacts of those changes aren’t confirmed yet and those are the things we’re talking about at the bargaining table.’’

Patti Hooley, who was on the picket line Wednesday, said her job is being eliminated.

“My job has already been eliminated . . . so I’m just here for support, really,’’ Hooley said. “The girls are just hoping for some guaranteed part-time hours. It’s not a lot to ask, I don’t think.’’

MacDonald declined to comment further on the issues that separate the two sides.



Organizations: Charlottetown Blood Services, Nova Scotia Union of Public and Private Employees

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Fitzroy Street, Summerside Atlantic Canada

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Recent comments

  • Standing for What's Right
    September 10, 2015 - 09:07

    The contract has not been renewed since 2011??? As in the past, Canadian Blood Services in Halifax always looks to the faraway places within their jurisdiction to eliminate or downsize, rather than looking inward at the top heavy personnel that work in their own location. If it's a budget issue, then reduce the amount of flights that Halifax managers/staff take to Charlottetown on a whim, but to cut the few jobs that are left on PEI is just sad! For those who may not remember, CBS promised PEI 27 full-time jobs when the doors in Charlottetown first opened ... sigh!

  • Karl Proude.
    September 10, 2015 - 07:10

    Do these people not realize that job creation is only words a politician will use to confuse you, or lead you to beleive they care.Why would anyone want to see you have a Full time job and making a decent living . Come now girls , suck it up. It has only been since 2011 with no contract. This is why we have have approximately 5 booths at the Confederation Bridge. 2 Automated Kiosks, and at most times 1 person working at one. This is called Job creation for Islanders, and more profits for corporation s. That is why after 9 years of having worked as at winter road checks, and dispatching plows for Department of Highways ,and not being a certified position, I could not apply for any other full-time position if one was to open. So the results as was preached for years. GO WEST OLD ( YOUNG ) MAN, GO WEST. We don, t want to create jobs, nor have you enjoy life on our Island.

    • And at SOBEYS in Summerside.
      September 10, 2015 - 12:25

      And this morning at Sobeys Summerside store Store is busy, people waiting in line up, 12 cash-out stations only 3 open to serve and one Express lane.. Why have 12 Stations ??????? That sure is job creation if I ever seen it.

  • mutt
    September 10, 2015 - 03:26

    Where are those unionized Feds. If the issue enhances their agenda in any way they are right out there with the people. Guess not here.