TORONTO – Ontario’s coroners have overwhelmingly voted in favour of joining forces with OPSEU/SEFPO and hope for quick recognition from the province.
The Ontario Coroners Association (OCA) has not been able to negotiate good working conditions for its members for some time. Late last year they voted 95 per cent in favour of entering a cooperation agreement with OPSEU/SEFPO.
OPSEU/SEFPO has asked the government to agree to allow the union to represent the hundreds of front-line coroners and President Warren (Smokey) Thomas hopes the province will swiftly recognize their wishes.
“We are pleased that another group of front-line professionals feel that OPSEU/SEFPO is the best choice to fight for better working conditions,” said Thomas. “Coroners provide a vital public service and we hope the provincial government will recognize their right to choose OPSEU/SEFPO.”
Dr. Jeannie Walton, President of OCA, believes that OPSEU/SEFPO is the best choice to fight to ensure the death investigation system is never compromised.
“This is specialized work and not something that can be done by just anyone,” said Walton. “OPSEU/SEFPO understands the importance of front-line expertise and we believe they can bring our know-how to the corridors of power.”
OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, who is a correctional officer, says OPSEU/SEFPO is the right place for coroners to be.
“We represent members in various sectors who do work that is complementary to the work that coroners’ perform,” said Almeida. “It makes sense that OPSEU/SEFPO should be their bargaining agent because we already understand the fundamental issues that coroners are concerned about and will know how to make their case to their employer and to government.”