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Northern Health not planning to appeal Labour Relations Board ruling

After weeks of declining comment on a Labour Relations Board ruling indicating that they acted in an anti-union manner, Northern Health said it has accepted the decision.

“We are not appealing the ruling and we plan to move ahead to rebuild the relationship with the International Union of Operating Engineers [IUOE],” said Northern Health Director of Communications Steve Raper.

“I think it's time to move forward and work with the IUOE to determine what the remediation should be based on the ruling... We hope to have this done in a timely fashion.”

The Labour Relations Board ruled that management at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital and Northern Health were aware that one of the reasons a new electric boiler system was being recommended for the hospital had to do with eliminating IUOE positions at a time when the five members had more than 30 grievances filed against the employer. A June 16, 2011 backgrounder pointed out that “displacing the 5 IUOE employees in this department and reposting these positions as HEU Maintenance Worker IIIs we anticipate will bring to an end the labour/management gridlock PRRH/NH has been embroiled in the past 18 months”, though mentions of union issues were removed from later backgrounders.

Despite naming several managers in the Oct. 31 ruling, Raper said Northern Health wouldn't be discussing anything related to current management.

“At this point we are not speaking publicly about employee relations because there is a level of privacy and confidentiality involved,” he said.

A representative from IUOE Local 115 was not immediately available for comment. Look for more on this story as it becomes available.

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