Toronto – Hospital professionals across Ontario have ratified a three-year extension to their central collective agreement.
This week, hospital professionals in more than 250 occupations at 51 hospitals voted 87 per cent in favour of the extension, which extends their contract to March 31, 2022. The agreement negotiated with the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) in October includes wage increases, better maternity leave pay, and improved contract language around job classifications. The deal covers over 12,000 members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
“We’re very happy with the positive response from our members,” said Sandi Blancher, chair of the union bargaining team. “Members clearly recognize that extending their collective agreement means stability for all of us – plus this deal gives us the tools we need to solve many workplace problems in advance of the next round of bargaining.”
Union members had not hesitated to ratify a contract that includes wage increases of 1.75 per cent in each of its three years – and no takeaways, she added.
“OPSEU hospital professionals have been fighting hard to defend public health care and public hospitals in this province, and fighting hard to stop the privatization that threatens both,” said Sara Labelle, chair of the OPSEU Hospital Professionals Division (HPD). “This contract extension will free up more time for the division to continue that fight. Seven months before a provincial election, our timing couldn’t be better.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) congratulated the bargaining team of Blancher, Labelle, and Betty Palmieri on the successful ratification.
“This vote reinforces the position of OPSEU as the bargaining leader for hospital professionals,” he said. “We have the experience it takes to represent a very diverse group of professionals, and with this vote, OPSEU members have strongly endorsed our approach.
“Our hospital professionals’ team worked incredibly hard to win significant improvements to their contract in negotiations in 2016,” he said. “It makes perfect sense to lock those improvements in.”
For more information: Sandi Blancher, 519-857-3674; Sara Labelle, 905-914-4037; Betty Palmieri 289-260-6785; Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931