Only CUPE’s collective agreement can defend health care jobs by challenging the contracting out of bargaining unit work through an expedited arbitration process – protection you can count on in these times of increasing privatization threats.
Specifically, our contract does not allow the Employer to contract out work or services performed by CUPE members unless the “contracting out of such services will significantly increase the cost-effectiveness, and maintain the quality of health services provided.”
If the employer tries to contract out services or jobs, they are required to allow the Union to present alternatives to contracting out, and must provide all of their reasons for contracting out so that the Union is better-equipped to defend your jobs. If there is a dispute around contracting out, then there is the option for a speedy, expedited arbitration process which can provide settlement before any contracting out occurs.
In addition, Article 6.02 also gives the Union the ability to challenge existing contracts where it can show that the bargaining unit can maintain “the cost effectiveness and quality of health services provided.”
A few years ago, CUPE won an important victory against contracting out using this collective agreement language. An arbitrator ruled that the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region had failed to demonstrate that contracting out of some surgical procedures and CT scans were more cost effective than having them performed in-house. As a result, the arbitrator restricted the length of the third-party contracts to deal with the backlog only.