Arbitrator awards OPSEU pharmacy technicians big wage increase | National Union of Public and General Employees

Arbitrator awards OPSEU pharmacy technicians big wage increase

“This award is long overdue. These members had to dig into their own pockets to bring their qualifications up to the highest standards but were then told they didn’t deserve increased compensation.” ― Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Toronto (14 Jan. 2020) ― In 2010, the Ontario government told pharmacy technicians they would be regulated by the Ontario College of Pharmacists. Now, after a hard fought battle to demonstrate that value to employers, wages will finally reflect the increase in accountability.

Wage increase to be made retroactive

On January 6, arbitrator Diane Gee awarded a six per cent wage increase for Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) registered pharmacy technician members in 60 bargaining units from hospitals across Ontario. The decision is retroactive to June 30, 2016.

“This award is long overdue,” says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President. “These members had to dig into their own pockets to bring their qualifications up to the highest standards but were then told they didn’t deserve increased compensation. This was not acceptable and OPSEU/NUPGE fought for what was right and now these essential health care workers are being paid what they deserve.”

Increase not subject to wage cap legislation

The total liability of this increase and subsequent retroactivity for the centrally participating hospitals is more than 3 million dollars and is not subject to the current Government of Ontario’s irresponsible wage cap legislation, which was passed in November.

“Beyond a doubt, this recognizes the value that registered pharmacy technicians bring to Ontario and the people who depend on their skills, knowledge, and dedication to patient care,” said Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer. “We are delighted with this award and will continue to fight for fairness and respect for all OPSEU members.”

Sets a terrific precedent for health care professionals

"The decision has far reaching and encouraging reverberations," says Sandi Blancher, chair of OPSEU/NUPGE’s Hospital Professionals Division Central Reclassification Committee that reviews these matters.

“This award is not only good for pharmacy technicians everywhere, but sets a terrific precedent for health care professionals of all stripes who have been forced into wages lower than what their qualifications call for,” says Blancher. “This benchmark ensures maintained professionalism, excellence, and improves lives.”


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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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