Ottawa –The 57 protection agents who provide security services for the General, Riverside, and Civic campuses of The Ottawa Hospital have voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
The chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Support Division said the workers decided unionizing was the most effective means of bringing some stability to their workplace.
“No matter how much you like your job,”noted Jill McIllwraith,“it’s always better when you enjoy the increased level of job security that a collective agreement brings. That’s exactly what these workers can now look forward to as members of OPSEU.”
McIllwraith said the protection agents were also looking for a voice on how their workplace functions. “It’s the people on the front lines who know the job best: what works and what doesn’t, what’s lacking and what can be improved. This is particularly important when the frontline workers ensure security. The employer will now have to take their input more seriously.”
McIllwraith said the protection agents chose OPSEU because of its strong presence in the hospital.
“OPSEU represents a large number of workers at The Ottawa Hospital, and we have built a very positive relationship with the employer. Further, the protection agents saw how well we represented our members at the hospital and felt confident in their choice. I know they won’t be disappointed.”
The President of OPSEU, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, said the vote illustrates why workers need a union – even when they enjoy a good relationship with their employer.
“OPSEU is the union for changing workplaces,” he said. “We live in very uncertain times, given the economic instability caused by globalization and privatization, so it’s not surprising that workers, especially those with families to provide for, are looking for greater security in their working lives.
“We’re certainly delighted to have the privilege of representing these protection agents, and I wish them a very warm welcome to OPSEU.”
For more information: Jill McIllwraith, 519-943-5019