“We joined together in a union to make sure we have the working conditions we need to offer the best possible services, and that’s just what we’ve done,” said Wendy Brown, addictions counselor and Chair of OPSEU Local 454’s Rideauwood bargaining committee
Ottawa (13 March 2018) — Roughly 40 members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) who provide addictions counselling and services at Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services have their first contract after voting to ratify the tentative agreement.
Improving working conditions, improving services
“We joined together in a union to make sure we have the working conditions we need to offer the best possible services, and that’s just what we’ve done,” said Wendy Brown, an addictions counselor and the Chair of OPSEU Local 454’s Rideauwood bargaining committee, which also includes Vanessa Robinson and Joseph Zacconi.
“I’m proud to be part of this incredible group of health professionals, and I’m proud of what we’re accomplishing together,” Brown said.
First contract provides increased wages, access to grievance procedure
The 2-year agreement is retroactive to January 1, 2018, and expires March 31, 2020. In addition to wage increases, the OPSEU Local 454 members will receive a signing bonus of up to $1,000, and a collective agreement that gives them increased transparency, job security, and a formal grievance process.
The addictions workers, who voted to join OPSEU/NUPGE, provide services to nearly 2,500 children, teens, adults, and families across the Ottawa region.
“On behalf of the 150,000 members of this great union, I want to offer our congratulations to the members at Rideauwood,” says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It took a lot of courage, determination, and solidarity to get this contract — they deserve to feel very proud of what they’ve accomplished."
“By standing together for better working conditions, they haven’t just helped themselves. They’ve helped their families, their communities, and all of the people who depend on the quality of the services they provide,” says Thomas.
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