Solidarity heals! Regent Park Community Health Centre workers win significant improvements and ratify a new deal

After two determined weeks on strike, Regent Park Community Health Centre (RPCHC) workers who provide vital, life-saving services in the heart of downtown Toronto have voted to ratify their new collective agreement today. The contract contains significant improvements over what their employer was offering just before the strike was called, demonstrating the power of standing together for fair compensation and respect.

“These dedicated health care workers were not only fighting for themselves – they were fighting for quality health care for their clients and their community,” said JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President. “That’s why they had so much community support during their strike. They’ve proven that solidarity heals.”

Highlights of the new two-year collective agreement include:

  • Wage increases of 4% in the first year and 3.5% in the second year;
  • Improvements to their benefits;
  • Improved health and safety provisions around psychological safety in the workplace
  • An agreement that if RPCHC receives any additional funds from the Ministry or other funding sources that are specifically allocated for wage increases (including Bill 124 remedy), the employer will meet with the union to finalize the allocation of those additional funds to the workers.

“We remained steadfast throughout bargaining to fight for a fair deal, and we are proud of what we’ve achieved together,” said Kirsty Millwood, President of Local 5115. “This strike was difficult – but it has also been an opportunity for our members to connect and become more united than ever.”

The first day back to work for RPCHC members of Local 5115 will be Monday April 8th, but as part of the agreement, the employer has agreed to pay them from April 1st.

“These members refused to accept disrespectful offers. They won a much better contract because of their determination to fight for it, and the commitment and resolve they showed on the line,” said Hornick. “On top of that, together they have built power to enforce their new contract, address toxic workplace issues, and continue building strength for their next round of bargaining.”

The members of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 5115 provide overdose prevention programs, harm reduction, low barrier supports for addictions and homelessness, primary health care, mental health care, diabetes education and nutrition services, supports for children, youth, and families, and much more – all under one roof.

They are part of the OPSEU/SEFPO Community Health Care Professionals Sector, representing more than 3,000 community health care professionals across Ontario.