Winnipeg: Nurses' union challenge bilingual policy at St. Boniface Hospital

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Aug 2 12:37:49 UTC 2006

   Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Nurses' union challenge bilingual policy at St. Boniface Hospital

The Manitoba Nurses' Union is challenging a St. Boniface Hospital policy
that requires candidates for some job positions to be bilingual. The union
has filed unfair labour practice charges today with the Manitoba Labour
Board, suggesting the hospital is changing the requirements for employment
without any negotiations. Union president Maureen Hancharyk said imposing
French language qualifications on some vacant positions will make it
difficult for nurses to transfer to other units or seek promotions.

She said the hospital's offer to provide French courses on nurses' time
doesn't work for nurses on shift work. But Michel Tetreault, president and
CEO of St. Boniface Hospital, said the facility is well within its right
to proceed, and is following through on a mandate from the province and
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to provide an "active offer of French
language services." He said there is no threat of staff losing jobs.
Tetreault said only a small number of posted positions will require
bilingual candidates.

 2006 Winnipeg Free Press. All Rights Reserved.

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