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OPSEU’s Newest Members 2014

We the North
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Lakehead University Technology Services Centre 

choose OPSEU

lakehead.jpgDecember 9, 2014 OPSEU welcomes our newest members at Lakehead University. On November 27, 2014, a representation vote was held of all the Technology Services Centre staff at the university at both the Thunder Bay and Orillia Campuses. The ballots were counted on December 4 and 80 per cent of the information technology professionals voted in favour of OPSEU.

These highly-trained and skilled individuals provide access to information and technology resources, along with support and guidance to staff and students in Thunder Bay and Orillia. The staff maintain the state of the art network for data, voice and video conferencing and are responsible for managing various server hardware and software systems. This includes the Lakehead University High Performance Computing Centre which helps facilitate research, discovery and innovation in all academic fields of study.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is proud to welcome these workers. “Our Universities Sector continues to grow, and these new members are a valuable addition to our union.”

Keystone Child, Youth & Family Services, Bruce and Grey Counties 

choose OPSEU

kids_matter.jpgDecember 3, 2014 OPSEU is proud to welcome our newest members at Keystone Child, Youth & Family Services in Bruce and Grey Counties.

The vote was held on Thursday, November 6, 2014. On December 1, 2014, the Ontario Labour Relations Board declared OPSEU as the bargaining agent for over 100 employees working at the agency.

Keystone Child, Youth & Family Services is a voluntary, non-profit prevention and counselling agency, which has been providing free help to child, youth and families in Bruce and Grey Counties since 1974. The professional frontline staff provide health promotion services, mental health assessment, counselling and treatment. They are Counsellors with training in Social Work and Psychology, Community Workers, Child and Youth Workers, Child Care Assistants, Early Education Assistants, Nurses and Administrative Staff.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is pleased to have these new members join with our 3,000 members working in OPSEU’s Child Treatment Sector.

“You could argue that there is no more important work than helping children in need,” Thomas said. “With our union’s help they will be able to continue this work with more peace of mind.” 

Non-Urgent Transfer Services – Manitoulin-Sudbury

choose OPSEU

December 1, 2014 On November 25, the Non-Urgent Transfer Service employees of the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (MSDSB) voted 85 per cent  in favour of joining OPSEU. These employees provide transportation for patients to and from hospitals and long term care facilities so they can receive specialized care or care that is not available in their local facility. This publicly-run service was implemented as a pilot project. While the initial assessment suggests it costs less than a for-profit system, the LHIN is still expected to issue an RFP to for-profit providers.

"These employees want the same rights and protections as the OPSEU EMS paramedics who also work for the MSDSB,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “They chose OPSEU for its strong track record of anti-privatization of public services."

Brock Cottage and Tennant House – Brockville

choose OPSEU

November 25, 2014 OPSEU is proud to welcome our newest members at Brock Cottage and Tennant House in Brockville. In a vote held November 19, staff voted unanimously in favour of joining OPSEU.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is pleased to have these 23 new members join the union’s Mental Health Sector. “These members are a great addition for our union and our nearly 9,000 members working in Mental Health across the province.”

Brock Cottage and Tennant House operate long term and residential treatment and addiction rehabilitation centres for people with severe or chronic dependency, located in the Brockville area.

Tricounty Addictions Services – Brockville & Smiths Falls

choose OPSEU

tricas.jpgNovember 4, 2014 OPSEU is proud to welcome our newest members at Tricounty Addictions Services (TriCAS) in Brockville and Smiths Falls. In a vote held October 31, 86 per cent of staff voted in favour of joining OPSEU.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is pleased to have these new members join the union’s Mental Health Sector. “These members are a great addition for our union and our nearly 9,000 members working in Mental Health across the province.”

TriCAS is a community-based addictions counselling and health promotion agency servicing the Counties of Lanark, Leeds, and Grenville. TriCAS is also one of the agencies in the Southeast Local Health Integration Network that has been directed to restructure addiction and mental health services in southeastern Ontario.

St. Joseph's Health Care – London

votes OPSEU

sjhc_1.jpgOctober 7, 2014 OPSEU is proud to welcome our newest paramedical members at St. Joseph’s Health Care in London. In a representation vote held September 30-October 1, the merged groups of OPSEU-represented employees and non-union employees chose to move forward with OPSEU as their representative.

Sara Labelle, chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division, is happy OPSEU will continue to represent our members at St. Joe’s, and that the former non-union workers will have all the benefits that belonging to a union can bring. “OPSEU is unequalled in representing Ontario’s Hospital Professionals, and this vote once again affirms that,” Labelle said. “This unit of nearly 500 members will be a powerful addition to our Division.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is proud that the union will now afford new rights and protections for the former non-union workers. “Now, more than ever, workers need a union especially in health care,” Thomas said. “For the province’s Health Care Professionals, OPSEU is really the only choice.”

Thomas also is saddened by the loss of our members in the Service, Office and Clerical, and Registered Nurses bargaining units as a result of the vote, especially many long-time activists in OPSEU’s Mental Health Division. “Due to the size of some of the other existing unions’ bargaining units, many our former OPSEU Mental Health Division members are now members of those unions. However, we know that they will continue to be well represented, and we wish them the very best in the future.”

West Lincoln Memorial Hospital

merges with OPSEU

wlmh_1.jpgOctober 7, 2014 OPSEU welcomes our newest members at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). As the result of a merger of services between HHS and West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, 39 former West Lincoln hospital professionals are now proud to call OPSEU their union.

Sara Labelle, chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division, is pleased to have these new members join us. “They are a great addition to our union local at HHS and will continue to provide the vital services needed in this area.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that he is very happy at the continued growth in this sector. “Despite shrinking memberships in other unions, OPSEU’s health care sectors continue to gain new members, sometimes on a weekly basis,” Thomas said. “This proves that OPSEU is the union of choice for health care workers.”

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

choose OPSEU

stjohnspond.jpgOctober 1, 2014 OPSEU welcomes our newest members at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. On September 30, the Ontario Labour Relations Board affirmed that members chose OPSEU in a vote held September 3.

The NPCA serves approximately half a million people in region of Niagara and portions of the City of Hamilton and Haldeman county. Their commitment is to manage the impact of human activities, urban growth and rural activities.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is proud these new members chose OPSEU as their representative. “These workers play a vital role in maintaining and preserving the natural beauty and habitats in the area, and ensuring that it isn’t lost for future generations.”

Community Living Renfrew County South 

chooses OPSEU

In a vote on Aug. 18, workers at Community Living Renfrew County South voted in favour of being represented by OPSEU.

These 96 new members, based in the towns of Renfrew and Arnprior, will join OPSEU’s developmental services sector of more than 10,000 members.

“I’m proud of the choice these workers have made by joining OPSEU,” said President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The members who work at Community Living Renfrew County South know that our developmental services units across the province are in bargaining. Our goal will be to negotiate for these new members the best possible improvements in their workplace. By electing to join OPSEU, they know they’ve taken a big step in the right direction.”

Patti Markland, chair of the developmental services sector, also welcomed the Renfrew County South workers to OPSEU.

"On behalf of the sector executive, I wish to congratulate everyone at CLRCS. The hard work demonstrated by this organizing drive has paid off. I look forward to working with all of you.”

Workers at CLRCS provide support to individuals with one or more intellectual disabilities.

Mackenzie Health

votes for OPSEU

By a margin of 85 per cent support, hospital professionals at Mackenzie Health in York Region have made OPSEU their union of choice!

In a vote taken earlier this week, 65 laboratory technologists, technicians and assistants, pathologist assistants and electrocardiogram technicians strongly favoured joining the union.

President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said the positive decision taken by employees at Mackenzie Health reinforces OPSEU position as Ontario’s premiere union for hospital professionals.

“When it comes to being the leading expert on working conditions that hospital professionals face, OPSEU has the strength in numbers and depth of knowledge to make a real difference in the working lives of our members,” he said. “On behalf of these skilled hospital workers we are able to bargain from a real position of power.”

Executive board member Sara Labelle, who is chair of the union’s hospital professional division, also extended warm greetings to OPSEU’s newest members.

“The great turnout of Mackenzie Health workers and overwhelming vote of support to join OPSEU is just another indication of why hospital professionals represent the fastest growing division in the union. I look forward to working closely with these new members.”

Chatham Kent Women’s Centre

vote OPSEU

ck_shelter.jpg June 11, 2014 In a vote held on June 9th, 2014, employees of the Chatham Kent Women’s Centre in Chatham voted 80 per cent in favour of joining OPSEU. These 35 new members are front-line staff who provide counselling, advocacy, and public education to women seeking to escape violence and rebuild their lives.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said these dedicated community activists and employees chose OPSEU because they wanted the employer to treat them with dignity and respect. “These workers provide a vital service in their community  on behalf of marginalized women who desperately need assistance,” Thomas said. “We will help these workers become further empowered so they can better advocate for the community members they serve.”

Markham Stouffville Lab Professionals

choose OPSEU

May 30, 2014 In a vote held Wednesday May 28, 2014 Laboratory Professionals at Markham Stouffville Hospital voted 80 per cent in favour of joining OPSEU. These 70 new members consist of Laboratory Technologists, Technicians and Assistants, Senior Technologists and Pathologist Assistants.

20140528_180155.jpgOPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said when it comes to Hospital Professionals in Ontario, OPSEU is truly the best choice for improving workers’ lives. “No other union can match our experience, expertise and knowledge on the issues facing hospital workers.”

Sara Labelle, chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division, is pleased to welcome these new members. “We are the fastest growing division in the union, and these members will make a solid addition to our sector. We are proud to have them join us.”

South Lake Regional Health Centre Lab Professionals

choose OPSEU

May 16, 2014 In a vote held May 15, 2014, approximately 90 laboratory professionals at South Lake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket chose overwhelmingly to join OPSEU.

southlake.jpegThis group of pathology assistants, technologists, technicians and technical specialists felt the effect of the pressures facing all providers of public health services today and knew OPSEU was the right choice for them.

“OPSEU will bring these Hospital Professionals new opportunities to represent the common and particular needs of their co-workers,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “We will also engage with management to address the issues of fairness, respect, and employee morale that are so essential to the provision of quality service.”

Sara Labelle, on behalf of the over 23,000 members of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division, enthusiastically welcomes these new partners. “We will provide strength to each other as we move forward in Ontario’s Union for Hospital Professionals.”

Barrie Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation

chooses OPSEU

May 15, 2014 – On May 13, employees of Barrie Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation voted overwhelmingly to be represented by OPSEU.

Employees voted 92 per cent in favour of OPSEU because they wanted a union with the resources to assist them in Law, Health and Safety and Human Rights.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas welcomes these newest members into the union and looks forward to working with them. “These employees wanted a legal voice in their workplace, and above all want an employer that will treat them with dignity and respect. With OPSEU, this can be accomplished.”

Barrie Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation is a non-profit housing provider in the City of Barrie. Employees work in 15 different locations across the City of Barrie with the objective being to provide and operate housing accommodations and recreational facilities primarily for persons of low or modest income at rentals below current market rates.

These members are a valuable addition to OPSEU’s Municipalities Sector.

Halton Maintenance and Tenant Service Workers

choose OPSEU

May 14, 2014 – In a vote held May 13, employees of Maintenance and Tenant Service Workers (MTSWs) of The Regional Municipality of Halton voted 83 per cent in favor of joining OPSEU.

MTSWs work alongside other OPSEU members and chose OPSEU to represent them after realizing the benefits of belonging to a union. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is glad these members are joining their colleagues in the union. “Nothing succeeds like success,” Thomas said. “When you see the union working for workers on a daily basis, the choice becomes easy.”

MTSWs are a vital part of Halton Region’s community in its subsidized housing program, known as rent-geared-to-income (RGI) or Halton Access to Community Housing (HATCH), providing safe, well-maintained rental housing for individuals and families with low to moderate incomes. Halton Community Housing Corporation owns and operates 30 communities within Halton Region, providing housing to both families and seniors. These include townhouses, apartments as well as single and semi-detached dwellings all across Halton’s communities.

OPSEU welcomes these newest members into our Municipalities Sector.

AIDS Thunder Bay

chooses OPSEU

May 7, 2014 – In a vote held on May 6, 2014 , workers at AIDS Thunder Bay voted 92% in favour of being represented by OPSEU. This AIDS service organization is the leading source for confidential HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis-C information and support in Northwestern Ontario and  is a welcome addition to OPSEU's Community Agencies sector.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is proud to welcome the Treatment Nurses, Outreach Workers, Case Workers, Program Support Assistants, Developers, Facilitators, Co-ordinators, and additional staff who provide HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis-C services to populations within the City of Thunder Bay and the Northwestern region at large.

“The workers who assist and support people who have, or are at risk of contracting, HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis-C play a vital role in the health and well-being of our communities,” said Thomas. “We are pleased that they choose OPSEU. We will support them as they advocate for their clients, and we will support them as they strive to improve the conditions under which they work.”

OPSEU welcomes newest HPD members at

London Health Sciences Centre

lhs_univ.jpg

May 2, 2014 OPSEU welcomes our newest casual and part-time Pharmacy Technicians, Medication System Technicians, Occupational Therapist Assistants and Physiotherapy Assistants working at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) at the University Hospital.  In a vote held Thursday, May 1st, the workers decided to follow in their full-time colleagues footsteps and chose to be represented by OPSEU.

Sara Labelle, Chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division, says this was the right decision for these members. "Now all of our HPD members at University have consistency with their labour relations dealings with the employer,” Labelle said. “For casual and part-time workers here and in health care across Ontario, this is the right move.”

OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas affirms that for Health Professionals, OPSEU is the union of choice. “Quite simply, no union represents hospital professionals better than OPSEU.”

OPSEU welcomes new members at

SAFSS

April 17, 2014  OPSEU is pleased to welcome our newest members at Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services in Scarborough. In a vote held April 15, 79 per cent of the workers voted to have OPSEU as their representative.

These 50 new OPSEU members assist, educate and empower newcomers to Canada in their settlement and integration into Canadian society and culture through settlement related services, language education, job skills training and other support services. They also work to prevent abuse and violence towards women, child, youth and seniors through education, counselling, intervention and support services.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is proud to have these dedicated workers as part of the Community Agencies sector. “These workers do vitally important work for new Canadians, and we are privileged to be able to support them in their working lives.”

OPSEU welcomes newest members at the

Dryden Regional Health Centre

Photo of Dryden Regional Health Centre

April 2, 2014  In a vote held on April 1, 2014 in the City of Dryden the hospital employees who work for Crisis Response Services, Kenora Rainy River District voted 80 per cent in favour of OPSEU. These Crisis Workers, Mobile Support Workers and Addiction/Recovery Workers provide a range of crisis intervention and resolution services to individuals and families in Dryden and the Districts of Kenora and Rainy River.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is proud to welcome these new members. “More and more, hospital professionals in Ontario realize that while they are providing services to people in hospitals and communities, OPSEU can provide the experience and services to them for better contracts, wages and working conditions. We are the union for changing times, especially for those providing crucial health care services in this province.”

CMHA Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma choose OPSEU

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February 13, 2014  OPSEU is pleased to welcome our 26 newest members at Canadian Mental Health Association Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma. In a vote held February 12, these workers decisively chose OPSEU as their bargaining unit representative.

"These workers provide vital mental health services to the communities of Sault Ste. Marie, Elliot Lake and Wawa," said Region 6 Vice-President Jeff Arbus. "They will be a strong addition to our region, and to OPSEU's Mental Health Division."

CMHA Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma staff work closely with a variety of community agencies including hospitals, police services, schools, mental health and addiction agencies. They also operate the Hope House/Club 84 which is a psychosocial rehabilitation program that operates using the clubhouse model.

The staff are counsellors, youth justice workers, dual diagnosis clinicians, family and peer support workers.

OPSEU welcomes new members at

Human Rights Legal Support Centre

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February 7, 2014  OPSEU is pleased to welcome our 27 newest members at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre in Toronto. In a vote held February 6, these workers voted 95 per cent in favour of joining OPSEU.

"OPSEU is widely recognized in advocating for human rights, not only in Ontario but also internationally," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "These new members play a vital role in protecting and advocating for those who may not otherwise have the support they need."

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre offers human rights legal services to individuals throughout Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario's Human Rights Code. Their services include legal assistance in filing applications at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and legal representation at mediations and hearings.

Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District chooses OPSEU

February 3, 2014 In a vote held on January 29, workers at Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District voted 86 per cent in favour of being represented by OPSEU.

Thanks to a dedicated organizing committee of full-time and part-time workers from all parts of the agency, these 233 members will join the OPSEU Developmental Sector of over 10,000 members, becoming the 68th unit of this sector.

"All of these units are going into bargaining in 2014," said President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "CLNAD workers have made an excellent choice joining OPSEU. We have the experience and the knowledge to ensure these workers get the best possible improvements in their workplace."

Patti Markland, Chair of the Developmental Services Sector, welcomes these new members to OPSEU. "On behalf of the sector executive I look forward to working with all of you. Your hard work has paid off and together with the entire sector we can make a difference."

Workers at CLNAD provide support to individuals with an intellectual disability through a wide range of services and programs including residential services, employment strategies, supported independent living, community supports and family respite.

Sunnybrook Lab Workers choose OPSEU

Sunnybrook Lab Workers choose OPSEU

January 8, 2014 OPSEU is pleased to announce that the medical laboratory technologists at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have voted 75 per cent in favour of joining OPSEU. In a representation vote held on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, approximately 250 medical laboratory technologists, quality assurance officers, and laboratory assistants voted for OPSEU as their union.

Sara Labelle, chair of OPSEU's Hospital Professionals Division, is proud to finally welcome these workers to our union. "Although the employer filed a number of challenges to overturn this vote, we were happy that we could resolve the issues and finally declare a victory for these workers. Our newest members at Sunnybrook make a great addition to our growing Hospital Professionals Division."

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, says these members will benefit from union membership. "Our union represents the largest number of lab professionals in the province. More and more, hospital professionals know that OPSEU is the union for changing times, and we have the experience that gets results for hospital workers."

New Members 2013