“The 155,000 members of OPSEU/NUPGE will help increase their strength at the bargaining table, and they’ll help increase the strength of OPSEU/NUPGE overall.” — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President and Treasurer
Toronto (19 June 2018) — All the employees at the Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) Peel York District office have voted to join the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).
“I’m not one bit surprised that it was unanimous,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President. “Our new members do exactly the same work done by people in the other Legal Aid Offices around the province, so why shouldn’t they get the same pay and benefits?”
“Now that they’ve joined OPSEU/NUPGE, they’ll have a strong voice at the bargaining table, and we’ll make sure they’re heard loud and clear,” said Thomas.
New members help increase strength in the workplace, and across OPSEU/NUPGE
The Peel York District legal aid workers are just the latest to join OPSEU/NUPGE. Over the past year, workers at the Central District (with offices in Barrie, Peterborough, and Oshawa), the North Toronto District (with 4 offices in Scarborough), and the Essex-Lambton-Kent District Office (with offices in Sarnia, Windsor, and Chatham) have also joined the 155,000-member union.
OPSEU/NUPGE now represents some 300 members at Legal Aid Ontario who provide back office support in policy, IT, and finance, as well as front-facing workers supporting the provision of legal services to Ontarians in need.
“There’s strength in numbers and I’m happy to see that the number of Legal Aid Ontario workers joining OPSEU/NUPGE continues to grow,” said Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer. “The 155,000 members of OPSEU/NUPGE will help increase their strength at the bargaining table, and they’ll help increase the strength of OPSEU/NUPGE overall.”
Legal aid workers provide high-quality service to vulnerable communities
Kareen Marshall, the chair of the union's Community Agencies Division, said joining OPSEU/NUPGE won’t just help the Legal Aid workers, it will also help the people who those workers are serving.
“Legal Aid workers across the province care deeply about the jobs they do,” said Marshall. “When they have a real say in the workplace, they’re able to offer even higher-quality services to people, families, and communities.”
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