January 16, 2016 at 6:00 PM
Sisters and Brothers,
Your bargaining committee utilized the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process outlined in the collective agreement to expedite the grievance filed by the union as the employer implemented new scheduling procedures in the fall of 2015.
On Friday, Unifor and Ornge met with Arbitrator Tom Hodges. Unifor believed the employer to be estopped from changing the past practice of the previous schedule until we could agree in bargaining to an alternative.
Under the terms and conditions of the ADR process, the intent to mediate a settlement also allows for the parties to withdraw from this process and elect to go to full arbitration.
Unifor agreed to these terms and was prepared to accept the Arbitrators decision. However the employer elected to withdraw from this process and go to full arbitration. It is unfortunate that a decision was not reached.
The grievance will be referred to a full arbitration process as outlined in Article 7 of the collective agreement. We are disappointed that a resolve could not be reached. We are hoping to have dates for arbitration set in the coming weeks. Barring this, we can also file for expedited arbitrator hearing with the labour board.
Additionally, by disallowing shift changes, Unifor believes the employer is in contravention of the terms under the freeze period once notice to bargain has been issued. We will file these matters to the Ontario Labour Board to seek a ruling.
We can assure you that your bargaining committee will utilize all options available under labour law.
Your continued support during this time is crucial. Although Unifor was not surprised, we are disappointed by the employer’s hard-line position and complete lack of willingness to find a solution to the scheduling issue. They [Ornge] have demonstrated a complete lack of recognition to the hardship that the change in schedules will have on the well-being of our members and their families.
We will continue to keep you informed with any further developments. Please ensure that you have subscribed to Unifor 2002’s e-news service at www.unifor2002.org.
Chuck Telky, Chairperson, Bargaining Committee
Mike Chad, Bargaining Committee, Southern
Dan LeFebvre, Bargaining Committee, Northern
Ashley Watkins, Assistant to the Local President
Kelly Ann Orr, Unifor National Staff Representative
/16-01-16 Update for Unifor members at Ornge HTML en.txt