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PHOLine: Public Health Ontario staff demand stability and fairness in bargaining

OPSEU Blood Services and Diagnostics

Bargaining team elected!

OPSEU members working at Public Health Ontario have elected their bargaining team:

Omid Nouri, Chair
Casey McGuire
Vincent Fernandes
Selfa Pyentam
Shah Nawaz
Alicia Cross, Communications

Bargaining update

As OPSEU members working for Public Health Ontario (PHO), it is your work that prevents public health crises like Walkerton, SARS and other outbreaks – this is vital to the health of all Ontarians. That’s why when negotiations begin in May, your newly elected bargaining team will be bringing a strong message to the employer: our vital public services are stronger when workers are treated fairly.  

At the final demand set meeting this weekend, PHO staff elected the bargaining team that will bring this message forward, as the team negotiates a collective agreement in the best interest of all members.

“The work of these members is what keeps our communities safe,” said Omid Nouri, Chair of OPSEU’s PHO bargaining team. “Whether they’re testing our drinking water, or working on infection prevention and control, they keep us all safe and healthy. That’s why we must ensure that these members receive a fair contract; one that ensures they too are safe and healthy at work.

“As we move forward in bargaining, we will continue to share the most up-to-date information, so that our members can make the most informed decisions, and achieve an excellent contract,” said Nouri. 

According to OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, the push for improved contract language for PHO staff is part of a much larger fight to protect and improve our vital public services across Ontario.

“With an election fast-approaching, the future is unclear,” said Thomas. “We’ve got to fight our hardest to protect and improve our vital public services, and that means pushing for better working conditions. We’ve got to fight for stability and fairness at the bargaining table, and in so doing, resist the forces of privatization.

“Support for a strong public health system is the only way to ensure we don’t have another Walkerton,” said Thomas. “Our PHO members have the full support of OPSEU and each of its 155,000 members behind them. That’s serious solidarity and strength.”

Pay Equity Update

Discussions to finalize the PHO Pay Equity Plan have wrapped up, and we are now entering the home stretch. The OPSEU team has signed off on the plan, and are currently awaiting final signatures from the employer team. As soon as the plan is finalized, OPSEU will distribute a PHOLine bulletin with more details.