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Lakeridge Health professionals pick OPSEU as their union of choice

Toronto – More than a thousand allied health professionals at Lakeridge Health have chosen the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) as their union.

“25,000 hospital professionals across Ontario, and at Lakeridge, recognize OPSEU as their union of choice,” said Sara Labelle, Chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division. “They know that OPSEU has a long and successful history of standing up for high-quality public health care and the professionals who provide it.”

On December 1, 2016, the Ajax-Pickering site of the former Rouge Valley Health System merged with Lakeridge Health and the Pinewood Centre.  Before that merger, many of the health professionals at these sites were represented by OPSEU; others were represented by the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), and a number didn’t belong to a union.

The hospital merger triggered the province’s Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act (PSLRTA), giving these professionals an opportunity to choose which union would represent their newly merged bargaining unit. Voting took place on January 30, 31, and February 1, and the results were announced earlier today by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (ORLB).

“We are thrilled with the result, and honoured to welcome our newest members at Lakeridge Health to the OPSEU family,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “When hospital professionals join OPSEU, they get great representation and the knowledge that comes with nearly half a century of experience in health care in Ontario.”

“Our members know that OPSEU has been a strong voice for allied health professionals in Ontario since 1969,” said Brian Pavlich, President of OPSEU local 311 (Ajax Pickering site). “We know the work, we know the issues, and we’ve got a proven track record at the bargaining table.”

“Now that the vote is done, we’ve got important work to do moving forward,” said Julie Miller, President of OPSEU local 348 (Lakeridge Health). “We are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible, especially as we welcome our newest members. We will continue to provide the best representation for each member of our diverse team of allied health professionals.”

For more information: Sara Labelle, 905-914-4037 or Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931