Addiction and mental health workers choose OPSEU after amalgamation of services

OPSEU/NUPGE has proven track record of protecting public services and the workers who perform them.

logo for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)Toronto (23 Sept. 2015) — On September 17, workers at Addiction & Mental Health Services–Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington became the latest members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).

Amalgamation of services forced a merger vote between SEIU and OPSEU/NUPGE

On April 1, the South East Local Health Integration Network (SE LHIN) ordered the amalgamation of the Lennox & Addington Addiction and Community Mental Health Services, represented by Local 1 of the Service Employees International Union (SIEU), and of Frontenac Community Mental Health & Addiction Services, represented by Local 489 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE), to form Addiction & Mental Health Services—Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (AMHS-KFLA).

The Ontario Labour Relations Board conducted a merger vote to allow the workers to choose which union would represent them at the new agency.  With the vote overwhelmingly favouring OPSEU/NUPGE, the union now represents all 207 workers at AMHS‑KFLA.

Health care workers continue to join OPSEU/NUPGE to represent their best interests

Tom Pineiro, President of OPSEU Local 489, hailed the result as a huge step towards securing a more promising future for the workers OPSEU/NUPGE represents. “By voting to join OPSEU/NUPGE, they’ve given themselves a powerful voice for fair wages and benefits, workplace health and safety, and job security.”

The new Local 489 members add to the growing number of Ontario health care workers who are putting their confidence in the experienced and effective hands of OPSEU/NUPGE to protect their best interests — and to protect the services they offer their clients — in these changing times of increasing pressures on service providers, threats of privatization, and government austerity agendas.

OPSEU/NUPGE has strong track record of protecting public services and the workers who provide them

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, said the AMHS-KFLA workers’ instinct to put their trust in OPSEU/NUPGE was well‑founded. “OPSEU/NUPGE has a proven track record when it comes to negotiating excellent collective agreements for our members in hundreds of provincial agencies, as well as protecting the valuable services that Ontarians need and rely on.

“I extend a warm welcome to our new members and pledge the union’s full support in helping them continue to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents," says Thomas. 


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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