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OPSEU members ratify contract at Public Health Ontario

We the North
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Toronto – Workers in Ontario’s public health lab system have ratified a four-year collective agreement.

In voting April 11-12, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union voted 63 per cent in favour of the new collective agreement at Public Health Ontario. The contract is retroactive to April 1, 2014.

"It was a tough round of negotiations but we were able to stave off all of the concessions the employer was demanding and achieve a wage increase for everyone," said Ellen Goslin, chair of the OPSEU bargaining team. "I want to say a special thank you to all of our members. We could not have achieved this without their support."

More than 850 OPSEU members work in offices and laboratories of Public Health Ontario across the province, performing clinical and environmental testing as well as food-borne illness and drinking-water testing. PHO staff investigate outbreaks and perform tests when bioterrorism is suspected.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas congratulated the team and members for a successful round of bargaining, but noted the ratification vote also sent a clear message to Public Health Ontario.

“With only 63 per cent support for this agreement, our members have put this employer on notice that there is a lot more work to be done to improve the conditions of work," he said. “We’ll be back.”

Details of the new collective agreement are available here.

For more information:  Heather Fathi, OPSEU Negotiations, 416-443-8888 ext. 8724