CBS work­ers de­serve bet­ter

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

It has been 200 days since Canada Blood Ser­vices (CBS) has col­lected blood do­na­tions from vol­un­teers at the Miscouche Cen­ten­nial Recre­ation Cen­tre. There are plenty of will­ing donors too. The clin­ics are busy when they come to Is­land and most of the folks du­ti­fully re­turn ev­ery time to give blood.

I started giv­ing blood in 2006 af­ter a fel­low farmer was se­ri­ously in­jured in a farm ac­ci­dent and needed some ridicu­lous num­ber of trans­fu­sions to save his life. It worked and he is still above ground to­day. Blood do­na­tions save lives, plain and sim­ple. So why has CBS not been col­lect­ing blood from all Is­lan­ders since July - a labour dis­pute with em­ploy­ees at the per­ma­nent clinic in Char­lot­te­town.

Ten em­ploy­ees are law­fully strik­ing in an ef­fort to ne­go­ti­ate a guar­an­teed num­ber of hours of work from week to week. Ap­par­ently, the im­por­tant work of col­lect­ing blood and plasma does not merit the ba­sic labour stan­dard of con­sis­tent, pred­i­ca­ble hours with ben­e­fits. Their hours are re­viewed ev­ery 6 months and if they have enough hours in that time pe­riod they can get ben­e­fits, but if the hours fall bel­low the magic thresh­old they loose their ben­e­fits. That is an ab­surd pol­icy. Good on them for strik­ing. I for one ap­pre­ci­ate and value the work that the nurses who col­lect my blood do.

It’s time for Canada Blood Ser­vices to re­lax their tight fist, let the nurses insert the nee­dles and get the blood flow­ing again. It’s in them to give... for once. If they did, then they would de­serve a cup of tea and cookie when they are done. Ran­dall Af­fleck, Lower Bedeque

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