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PHOLine: Bargaining Bulletin – February 2021

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My gratitude goes out to all PHO members for the critical work you’ve been doing to keep Ontario going during this pandemic. Your work is vital to fighting this virus and keeping Ontarians alive, and the strength you’ve shown will take you far during bargaining.

You have the full support of OPSEU/SEFPO’s Executive Board and 170,000 members at the bargaining table. We’re with you every step of the way!

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU/SEFPO President

Thank you for all the support that you’ve shown me and your Bargaining Team as we’ve been getting ready to begin negotiations. The Bargaining Team will send you regular updates as bargaining moves along. We are all in this together. We will make sure that your voice is heard and you get the recognition you deserve. We will fight hard for a fair, strong agreement for us all.

Omid Nouri, Bargaining Team Chair

Download a PDF of this bulletin.

Bargaining Update

Our Collective Agreement expired on March 31, 2020 and COVID-19 has caused significant delays in getting to the bargaining table. However, we are now ready to proceed and your bargaining team has been hard at work preparing to begin negotiations at the bargaining table.

Your bargaining team met on November 17 and 18, 2020 and again on February 3, 2021 to put together proposals based on the demands identified at the Final Demand Set meeting.

We are ready to go and have made repeated requests to the Employer to get to the table over the last few months. We will let you know as soon as dates have been secured so that bargaining can begin.

OPSEU/SEFPO staff have been providing us with much-needed resources, as promised. Research Officer, Michelle Haber, and Campaigns Officer, Noemi Khondo have been assigned to assist us in this round. They met with us at our last caucus meeting to discuss upcoming campaigns and communications ideas.

We are committed to keeping all members up-to-date on bargaining developments by sending regular bulletins and posting updates to the Sector 19 Facebook Page.

Be sure to follow us on the Sector 19 Facebook page for upcoming bargaining information:

What to Expect

To bargain as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, this round of bargaining will take place through virtual meetings.

We will be bargaining in the middle of OPSEU/SEFPO’s charter challenge against Bill 124, Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019. Bill 124 limits public sector compensation to 1% per year. With the assistance of our Research Officer, we are writing the government to seek an exemption from the Bill during bargaining. We know how vital PHO employees’ role is and has been throughout this pandemic, with our members having analyzed over 2.5 million COVID-19 tests. It is for this reason that we are seeking this exemption.

In solidarity,
Your Bargaining Team

Omid Nouri
Local 545 (Toronto)
Bargaining Team Chair

Casey McGuire
Bargaining Team Vice-Chair
Local 412 (Ottawa)

Shah Nawaz
Local 545 (Toronto)

Selfa Pyentam
Local 113 (London)

Raul Chicas
Local 545 (Toronto)