We hope it will also serve as a template for other collective agreements between OPSEU/NUPGE and Legal Aid Ontario across the province.” — Fred Diamond, Chairperson for OPSEU Local 525 bargaining committee
Toronto (08 May 2018) — The 14 members of Local 525 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) —Legal Aid Ontario Toronto North District — have voted 100 per cent to ratify their first collective agreement, ending management’s ability to unilaterally dictate working conditions like wages, disability benefits, and vacations.
First Legal Aid district office to unionize
“When you join OPSEU/NUPGE, you put an end to just being told what pay and vacation you get,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President. “As the members of Local 525 have just learned, joining OPSEU/NUPGE gives you a real say in your workplace."
“And as the first Legal Aid district office in Ontario to unionize, these members are showing hundreds of other legal aid employees across the province how empowering it is to belong to OPSEU/NUPGE,” Thomas added.
Wage increase, grievance procedure established through bargaining
The one-year collective agreement includes a 1.5 per cent wage increase, and a provision that will ensure these new OPSEU/NUPGE members also receive any further wage increases negotiated by OPSEU/NUPGE members at Legal Aid Ontario’s provincial head office. Those negotiations are expected to begin later in May.
The Local 525 collective agreement also enshrines a collaborative process between management and local union representatives to identify and resolve issues on the ground.
OPSEU Local 525 looking forward to new relationship with management
“It is a new day for us in Toronto North District,” said Fred Diamond, Chairperson for the Local 525 bargaining committee.
“After months of work, we have a collective agreement that will serve as the basis for a renewed and positive relationship with management,” Diamond said. “We hope it will also serve as a template for other collective agreements between OPSEU/NUPGE and Legal Aid Ontario across the province.”
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