Osler employees sign new union contract

Frontline workers at Brampton’s busiest hospitals may have reason to celebrate, as a collective agreement was announced late last week that will bring in a major wage hike.

Teamsters Local Union 419 said Friday that it had negotiated a “historic” agreement with clerical employees working at William Osler Health System (WOHS) to bring a “fully recommended” deal that will include wage increases of 12 percent — billed as the biggest wage increase in the country in 15 years.

The deal was reached after five days of negotiation and will see union employees see improvements to benefits and weekend premiums. The hospital will also hire a “Chief Steward” who will be made available to members and will be paid for by the hospital, the union said in a statement. “The solidarity of the workers and the hard work of the negotiating team have paid off,” said François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada.

“Our members deserve this great contract because they are at the heart of the efficiency of these hospitals. The deal is expected to be ratified at voting ceremonies that take place at Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital and Peel Memorial Hospital on Oct. 26 and 27. “Our members have stepped up during this pandemic, said the president of Local Union 419, Jason Sweet, in a comment made after the deal was reached. “It feels good when the hard work, the courage and the self-sacrifice of our front-line sisters and brothers are recognized.

Brampton’s health care system has grappled with stalled wage increases and increased usage of its healthcare facilities, which built to a crisis point in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as ICU units were slammed by patients, leading local politicians to declare a “health care emergency” and advocate for increased support for workers and expanded facilities.

Earlier this year, the province announced plans for a new inpatient wing at Peel Memorial Centre set to be built, addressing concerns due to overcrowding and a lack of beds. “(This agreement is) about the members, (and) this was long overdue,” said Brandon Dawe, business agent of Local Union 419.

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Surjit Singh Flora
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