Advocating for members each and every day

The Report: February / March 2000 vol.21 num.1

When to call your LRO
  1. Before calling your Labour Relations Officer, contact your steward first regarding workplace concerns. At most facilities, a list of your stewards is posted on your union bulletin board.
  2. For regional labour relations issues, or if your steward can't help, contact your LRO.
  3. For all provincial, national, or union policy issues, contact your elected Regional Director.

Stewards are the backbone and the pride of our union. When HSA members encountera problem at work, they are usually able to resolve the situation with the aid of asteward.

But sometimes, even the most experienced stewards feel they need helpdealing with a particularly sticky situation. Whom do they call?

Labour Relations Officers provide expert backup to stewards with anever-expanding range of workplace issues.

The calls an LRO receives during the course of a day may cover issuesas diverse as:

  • grievance handling
  • discipline and dismissals
  • job selections
  • workload
  • transfers
  • conflict / harassment in the workplace
  • maternity leaves
  • bargaining
  • arbitration preparation
  • unresolved rate disputes
  • occupational health and safety
  • return to work
  • Employment Insurance (formerly UI)
  • education
  • overtime rates
  • job shares
  • workplace amalgamations / reorganizations
  • restructuring
  • displacement / Healthcare Labour Adjustment Agency
  • Superannuation and other pension issues
  • Extended Work Hours applications
  • scheduling disputes

And for most LROs, aiding members with these issues means many busydays out of the office, and on the road.

Many LROs at HSA were once active HSA stewards at facilities around BC.Most then receive further experience as relief LROs.

This means they are very familiar with specific issues that might arisein health care or social services work situations. Their labour relations expertise,combined with their practical experience in similar work places make LROs effectiveadvocates for our members rights.

LROs enjoy working with stewards to increase labour relationsexpertise. This knowledge can then be spread throughout the general membership; aninformed membership is a powerful one.

Individual LROs have assignments that roughly coincide with theboundaries of the Regional Health Boards or Community HealthServices Societies.

In addition, HSA has LROs who specialize in handling general oremergency inquiries, issues faced by RPNs,or members in Community Health Support and Community Social Services sectors. (LROswith other specialty areas, such as Classification, Organizing, Education, and WCB, willbe introduced in subsequent issues of The Report.)

But one thing all Labour Relations Officers have in common is a sincerethank you for all the hard work done by HSA stewards.

As one said, "The dedication and expertise of each steward iscritical in ensuring all members have a safer and fairer workplace."

This is the first of a series of six articles introducing various HSAstaff members and their roles in the union.