OPSEU members at local health networks in Ontario ratify new deal

New agreement affects about 600 workers at four centres

OPSEU members at local health networks in Ontario ratify new deal
About 600 OPSEU members work at the four LHINs. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Workers at four of Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) voted on Jan. 19 in favour of accepting a tentative agreement reached between the employer and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

Julie Lenko, chair of the LHINs’ central bargaining team, said she was very pleased by the scale of the vote, which showed 95 per cent in favour of the deal.

“All through the negotiations process, the team has been inspired by the tremendous solidarity shown by members. For example, they gave us a 94 per cent strike mandate,” said Lenko. “That solidarity carried through, right to the ratification vote.”

About 600 OPSEU members work at the four LHINs: Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN, Central East LHIN, North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN and North East LHIN. This was the first round of bargaining for LHINs workers since the Ontario government integrated all Community Care Access Centres into the LHINs in June 2017. Accordingly, four separate collective agreements were negotiated at one bargaining table, said the union.

“Once the transition was complete,” said Lenko, “the bargaining team focused on protecting basic demands around wages, benefits and layoffs.”

In addition to putting protections in place, there were a number of common improvements in the three-year contracts, including 1.75 per cent wage enhancements in each year and a $50 increase to the vision benefit. The North East LHIN got an additional one per cent increase in the first and second years, given that it already lagged behind the other three LHINs in terms of compensation, according to OPSEU. 

Latest stories