Arbitration award issued for OPSEU hospital professionals

New collective agreement covers 9,600 employees in 50 hospitals

A new collective agreement covering 9,600 hospital professionals represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) was issued in an award by arbitrator Robert Herman.

The award — covering employees at 50 hospitals across the province — will be in effect from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2016. Under the provisions of the award all employees will receive a 1.4 per cent wage increase in each of the agreement’s two years.

No other monetary or non-monetary proposals were awarded with the exception of a new process for the negotiation of voluntary flexible scheduling agreements.

Sandi Blancher, OPSEU’s hospital professionals bargaining team chair, was pleased the wage gains work towards keeping up with inflation but said she was “disappointed that other monetary proposals were not achieved.”

“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,” Blancher said.

The 9,600 members directly affected by the 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.

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