TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario's Legal Aid lawyers are staging a
rally on Wednesday, November 27 at 11:30 am on the steps of Toronto's
Old City Hall Courthouse (60 Queen St W.) to demand the government
recognize their collective bargaining rights. Legal Aid lawyers will
be joined by delegates from the 1,000-person-strong Ontario Federation
of Labour Biennial Convention. This rally will send a loud message to
Premier Wynne that the discrimination at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) must
Jillian Rogin, a Legal Aid Lawyer and campaign spokesperson stated that
"More than two-thirds of Legal Aid lawyers are women. They are the most
racially diverse group of public sector lawyers in the province and
they have been denied the right to collectively bargain. All other
provincial government lawyers, such as those working for the Ministry
of the Attorney General and those employed as Crown Attorneys, enjoy
the right to collective bargaining. They are primarily male."
Lawyers will be joined at the rally by over 50 different unions who
represent over one million workers in the province of Ontario.
"I can't understand how Premier Wynne can allow Legal Aid Ontario, an
agency that is accountable to the government, to discriminate against
women-dominant groups of employees by denying them the same rights that
male-dominant groups already enjoy," said Sid Ryan, President of the
Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL). "The OFL believes that collective
bargaining is a constitutional right and Legal Aid lawyers should not
be denied a collective voice."
Over 80 percent of Legal Aid lawyers have voted in writing to enter into
a collective bargaining agreement with LAO yet CEO Bob Ward has denied
this request and is unwilling to end the discrimination.
The LAO lawyers' organizing campaign represents over 200 lawyers from
across Ontario who are employed as staff lawyers or duty counsel at
Legal Aid Ontario in the Family and Criminal Courts, the Refugee Law
Office, and at the Clinic Resource office. LAO lawyers represent some
of the most marginalized people in Ontario.
SOURCE: Legal Aid Ontario Lawyers' Organizing Campaign
For further information:
Bill Fitzpatrick 416-886-3793 or Jillian Rogin 647-466-8448 www.laolawyers.ca