OPSEU Local 505 files complaint against Ornge

Union alleges discrimination, intimidation and targeting of union activists by operator formerly known as Ontario Air Ambulance.

Toronto (15 Oct. 2010) - Local 505 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has filed a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) alleging discrimination, intimidation and targeting of union activists at Ornge, formerly Ontario Air Ambulance.

The union believes that Ornge failed to train two elected union officers in order to eliminate their positions and avoid following the reverse seniority language in the union's collective agreement.

Union officers have also been denied pay when they attend discipline meetings and have been denied time off to attend union educational training.

There have been at least eight grieved terminations at Ornge in the past year out of a membership of 75 workers.

OPSEU says staff at the Ornge Communications Centre feel intimidated and fearful for their jobs. They are also concerned that further layoffs will affect their ability to provide adequate services to the public.

"According to their website, Ornge prides itself on its core values, including compassion. However, it fails to meet its own ideals," OPSEU says.

Ornge is a private not-for-profit charitable organization that primarily coordinates medical air transport and transfer of patients between medical facilities. It has been in business under the name of Ornge since 2005 but has been operating in various capacities since 1977.

The program was formerly under the ministry of health and long term care but was divested to Ornge.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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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