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OPSEU members score with tentative deal at Canadian Blood Services

Toronto – Some 800 Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) members at Canadian Blood Services have reached a tentative collective agreement with their employer.

“We’ve negotiated a fantastic deal that’s going to improve the working lives of our part-time and full‑time members,” said bargaining team chair Jennifer Johnson. “We put a lot of hard work into negotiating this tentative deal, but our members are definitely worth it, and I think they’re going to be very happy when they see the deal.”

CBS employees work across the province conducting interviews, taking blood, and conducting testing, among other tasks. Their previous contract expired on March 31. Top issues at the table included precarious work, scheduling, wages, workplace harassment, and the driver classification.

“Each and every one of those issues was addressed,” said Johnson, “and we made some incredible gains. Scheduling improvements are going to mean a better work-life balance for many workers. We’ve created a mechanism to address our precarious workforce and explore avenues for creating full-time positions. And we’ve negotiated a very attractive compensation package. I’m excited.”

Johnson said full details of the tentative agreement would be released in the coming weeks, as well as information on the upcoming ratification vote.

“This is outstanding news for these hardworking and dedicated OPSEU members,” said President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “I know a lot of them have been struggling with scheduling issues, which have seriously eroded the quality of life for many CBS workers. And the wage hikes are going to help them keep pace with the rising cost of living.

“They give their all to ensure the integrity of Ontario’s public blood system – a system that is second to none in the world, but whose integrity has been jeopardized by pay-for-plasma clinics elsewhere in Canada.

“These workers need and deserve the kind of working conditions that will allow them to continue providing the best possible blood services to the people of Ontario – public services that Ontarians can trust and have complete confidence in.

“Congratulations to our negotiating team – and to all of our CBS members.”

For more information: Andrew Ruszczak, OPSEU negotiator, 416-795-2072