Toronto – The members of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 5117 working at Black Creek Community Health Centre have ratified their new collective agreement, ending a grueling six-week strike for the health care workers.
OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas commended Local 5117’s members for holding firm at the picket line in support of the bargaining team, who fought hard against the deceitful, anti-union actions of their Executive Director, Cheryl Prescod, to reach an agreement.
“These health care workers have shown true strength and solidarity in the hardest of times,” said Thomas. “They sent a clear message to a boss, who tried everything she could to bully them into submission, that they wouldn’t back down on the fair wages, respect and transparency they deserve.”
Local 5117’s members voted today to ratify their new collective agreement, which succeeds in achieving the long-term wage increases that they’ve been fighting for. The agreement also includes language that holds their employer accountable to the union for wage-specific funding, where it was previously up to the employer’s discretion, and ensures that this funding will be distributed equitably on their wage grid.
OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida remarked on the resilience of Local 5117’s bargaining team and members, who stayed united during a mentally, physically, and financially stressful strike.
“Prescod’s dirty bargaining tactics were a textbook example of union-busting,” said Almeida. “She forced them into a strike and prolonged it at every step of the way, but they didn’t let this deter them. They stayed united and now, they have a stronger agreement to protect them for years to come.”
Local 5117 President and Bargaining Team Chair, Mahnaz Pourahmadi, expressed her gratitude on behalf of the bargaining team for the overwhelming support they received.
“Despite the difficulties and challenges, the support we’ve received from our members, allies and the community kept our bargaining team going,” said Pourahmadi. “Now, we are looking forward to returning to work with a deal that gives us a stronger voice, more transparency, and more respect.”
For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931;