No financial gains for Unifor members at Ornge, but work hours stay intact

No financial gains for Unifor members at Ornge, but work hours stay intact

February 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Mr. Hodges has issued his interest award to renew the collective agreement between Ornge and members of Unifor Local 2002. This decision has been met with mixed emotion.

The company's spiteful position to come after members' hours of work and overtime (Article 26) and force longer hours with less rest and less compensation was met with severe push-back from the union. Mr. Hodges concurred with Unifor's position and did not side with the Ornge on this matter. He did, however, make one change to Article 26 which was to remove 26.01 (d) V and VI, which is known as the ‘17 hour rule.'

"We do not see any substantial financial increases nor do we see any final clarification on what we know to be essential safety training for our members,"said Chuck Telky, Chairperson and Bargaining Representative for Unifor Local 2002. "This issue appears to have been side-stepped by Mr. Hodges."

Unifor also requested an additional premium to offset the financial losses that members in Peterborough and Toronto will feel when their parking becomes a taxable benefit. Mr. Hodges did not grant this component either. Ornge’s position was that they would not pay any additional costs to compensate members.

As for the following:
"The revisions to Article 26, Hours of Work and Overtime provided above may be reviewed after 90 days upon notice from either party in conjunction with a review of Article 32, Training and Education, and Article 57, Parking."

The union has no interest in making any changes to hours of work provisions. The company's continued inability to dispatch Ornge members in any reasonable fashion requires that we maintain these provisions in our agreement.

"As stated in the award, we have been in bargaining since the fall of 2012 and have met with the company for a total of eighteen bargaining days. We defended our agreement vigorously and never wavered from our core principles of safe working conditions for our members," said Telky. "Again, we are not entirely pleased with the outcome, however we did maintain what you - the membership - identified as the core of the agreement; article 26."

Unifor represents more than 200 members at Ornge who provide high quality air ambulance service and critical care land transport services to patients who are ill or injured.


In Solidarity,

Chuck Telky, Unifor Local 2002 Chairperson/Bargaining Representative
Ashley Watkins, Unifor Local 2002 Executive Assistant
Ron Smith, Unifor Director of Transportation


Click here to download a PDF copy of Mr. Hodges Award


For more information, please contact:
Ashley Watkins, Unifor Local 2002 Executive Assistant