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Health Unit merger could see job cuts at “senior level,” says Board of Health Chair

Our Health Unit merging with two other organizations isn’t likely to cost many employees their jobs. 

That’s according to Peter McKenna, the Chair of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Board of Health. 

Earlier this week, the organization announced its plans to investigate a potential merger with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health. 

McKenna says, if the merger happens, most jobs will remain, aside from some at a “senior level.” 

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“All of the services that are currently being delivered [by the Health Unit] in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark would continue,” McKenna says. “All the offices would continue. Where you would see the coming together of multiple agencies could be in areas such as what we’d call the ‘backbone’ of the organization.”  

He gave examples like downsizing when combining the three organizations’ finance departments. According to its website, the Health Unit currently employs 144 people. 

McKenna says the merger is being considered because our local Board of Health isn’t confident it can meet demand over the coming years without pooling resources. 

“Quite frankly, when we looked ahead, with the resources we currently have today, we probably can’t keep up,” he explains. “So, the idea is that if we come together, stronger, more efficient, that we could actually improve the range of services we’re offering over the next few years.” 

According to the announcement, all three organizations need to decide if they’ll move forward with the merger by March 2024.  

McKenna adds that, if they vote in favor of merging, he expects the process to be complete by April 2025. 

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