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Former Durham Mental Health Services workers join OPSEU/SEFPO

Nearly 200 new members have joined OPSEU/SEFPO in the wake of the amalgamation of Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) and Lakeridge Health.

“Speaking for our Executive Board and all 170,000 of our members, I’d like to say: welcome to our great union,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The work you do and the care you provide is of vital importance to so many people and families in your communities.

“I can promise that in OPSEU/SEFPO, you’ll find all the support and solidarity you need to ensure that you have the healthy and safe working conditions you need to do your work well.”

Before the amalgamation, the DMHS workers belonged to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). As part of the amalgamation process, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has confirmed that OPSEU/SEFPO will be the bargaining agent for all former DMHS paramedical workers at Lakeridge Health Corporation.

“I know our new members and their old union did an excellent job at the bargaining table and in the workplace,” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “Switching unions is a bittersweet moment for some, but I’d like to assure all of the former CUPE members that you’ve got a welcome and supportive home here in OPSEU/SEFPO.

“We’re one of the strongest and fastest-growing unions in the country, and we’re now even stronger because you’ve joined us.”