Arbitration award issued for OPSEU Hospital Professionals

TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Arbitrator Robert Herman has issued an arbitration award for a new collective agreement covering 9,600 OPSEU-represented hospital professionals employed in 50 hospitals across Ontario.

Under the provisions of the award, which will be in effect from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2016, all employees will receive a 1.4 per cent wage increase in each of the two years of the contract. No other monetary or non-monetary proposals were awarded, with the exception of a new process for the negotiation of voluntary innovative and flexible scheduling agreements. The aim of this new language is to encourage meaningful dialogue on short shift proposals from either party without mandating any particular outcome.

OPSEU Hospital Professionals Bargaining Team Chair Sandi Blancher said that she's satisfied that the Arbitrator reaffirmed OPSEU's long-standing comparator and pleased with the wage gains that go part way towards keeping up with inflation. "I am disappointed that other monetary proposals were not achieved," Blancher said. "Further, the failure of the Arbitrator to award any of OPSEU's proposed job security improvements, despite recognizing their validity, is demoralizing for our members who work beside other hospital workers with much stronger employment protection."

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas commends the bargaining team and staff for their work at the table and in preparing for arbitration.

"Ontario's Hospitals cannot function without the vital services performed by these dedicated professionals," Thomas said. "While the government says health care is one of their top priorities, this must also translate to proper recognition and respect for the front-line workers in the system. We must ensure that compensation for the work our members do is appropriate to its importance. And there's nothing more important than the health of the people of Ontario."

The 9,600 members directly affected by this award include Audiologists, Speech Language Pathologists, Dietitians, Occupational Therapists, Respiratory Therapists, Physiotherapists, Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, Medical Radiation Technologists, Biomedical Technologists, Psychologists, Lab Technologists and Lab Technicians.

SOURCE: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

For further information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas: 416-443-8888, Sandi Blancher: 519-857-3674

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http://www.opseu.org

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