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Arbitration award for hospital professionals at Lakeridge Health

Arbitration award for hospital professionals at Lakeridge Health

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OPSEU Hospital professionals with Local 348 at Lakeridge Health have a new collective agreement. It includes wage gains, an in-lieu percentage increase for former Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) and non-union employees, and scheduling improvements.

It’s the first agreement since Lakeridge merged with the former Rouge Valley Health System and the Pinewood Centre in February of 2018, increasing OPSEU membership by over 1,000.

“Congratulations to the bargaining team,” says Sara Labelle, Chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division.

“This was an extremely difficult round of bargaining. It was the first that brought together different terms and working conditions for OPSEU members, prior ONA members and prior non-union members. The bargaining team did an excellent job of advocating to improve conditions for those who were behind and achieved real gains for everyone. Arbitrator Christopher Albertyn awarded outstanding issues to wages, benefits, and scheduling.”

OPSEU members at Lakeridge covered by this new collective agreement are professionals. They work as lab technologists and technicians, medical radiation technologists, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians; and allied health professionals such as social workers, respiratory therapists, dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists.

“Without the work of these vital health professionals no hospital could function,” says Ms. Labelle. “They are instrumental in patient diagnosis, in surgery and treatment, rehabilitation and therapy, discharge planning, and more.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas commends arbitrator Albertyn for seeing the immeasurable value of these hard working professionals. He says the members showed great solidarity throughout this process and is thankful that their patience has now been rewarded.

“Congratulations!” says Thomas. “This is a well-deserved award. Membership in OPSEU pays. We are committed to achieving the very best outcomes, and what is good for our members is good for Ontarians. This is a win-win situation.”