On August 5th, 2015 the ballot boxes from the certification vote held on behalf of the summer caseworkers at Parkdale Community Legal Services, (PCLS) were unsealed. The results: 88 per cent had voted in favour of joining OPSEU.
About a month ago, OPSEU made an application on behalf of the summer caseworkers at PCLS (who are also enrolled in the Osgoode Hall Law Program). The employer made a number of legal objections to the certification drive but through a tremendous amount of mobilizing and community outreach, the grassroots effort led by the caseworkers resulted in the Board of Directors at PCLS fully withdrawing their legal challenges.
The 2015 summer caseworker cohort is the first bargaining unit of its kind in the legal aid sector. It will change the nature of the Clinic for the better as well as bolster other organizing efforts across Ontario’s legal sector.