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Blood workers narrowly ratify contract

Toronto – Support workers with Canadian Blood Services represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) have voted to ratify their tentative collective agreement with the employer, with 57 per cent in favour.

“We’ve travelled a long and bumpy road to get to this point,” said bargaining team chair Jennifer Johnson. “The contract addresses a large number of issues, provides enhanced pay, and gives us three years of labour peace. But all is not well, because this employer has behaved in an arrogant and insensitive manner.”

“So this isn’t the end of talks. We will continue to engage the employer on the issues of concern to CBS support workers. The employer is well advised to listen carefully and to work diligently with us to address issues in a meaningful way.”

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU, echoed Johnson’s views.

“I’m very pleased that the two sides were able to reach a deal and thereby avoid a labour disruption. On the other hand, the vote was close, and obviously a significant number of members are unhappy with the treatment they’ve been receiving from this employer.

“I expect the employer to take very careful note of the vote and take appropriate measures so that workers’ voices are heard – not just once every three or four years, but every day.”

Thomas went on to congratulate the bargaining team and OPSEU staff representatives for their work in achieving a new collective agreement.

“Negotiations began over a year ago, and the going’s been tough. But as they say, the tough got going, and I want to thank the tireless bargaining team members and staff for the many, many hours they put into bargaining. I’m very proud of them and our CBS Support members."

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931