Ornge: Bargaining Update for June 26, 2020

Ornge: Bargaining Update for June 26, 2020

June 26, 2020 at 4:00 PM


Over the past six months, your bargaining committee has been hard at work preparing for collective bargaining. As the current collective agreement is set to expire on July 31, 2020, your committee has been working diligently to ensure that the needs and desires of the membership remain at the forefront. Details of the ongoing bargaining process is outlined below.

To prepare for negotiations, on February 17, 2020, your bargaining committee created and distributed an electronic bargaining survey to the membership. The goal of this survey is to help develop the committee’s bargaining proposals and understand the key priorities of the membership. The survey results were tabulated on March 2, and the findings were to be presented to the membership at the proposal meetings.

The in-person proposal meetings started in Peterborough, on March 9, 2020. In attendance were your Ornge bargaining committee representatives – Mark Etherington, Keith Simons, Geoffrey Brown, and Ashley Watkins – Assistant to the Local 2002 President, as well as Charlotte Pape – Local 2002 VP Central Region and Kelly-Anne Orr, Unifor National Representative. Following the meeting in Peterborough, the group then traveled to the following bases: Ottawa, London, GTA, and Toronto Island. The second phase of the base tours was set to resume in Timmins, on March 23, 2020. Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, it became clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation we needed to cancel the remaining in-person meetings and move to an alternate bargaining proposal assembly.

As the bargaining committee could not meet in-person with the members, we were determined to bring members together by providing a solution. From May 5 through to May 13, the remaining bases (Timmins, Moosonee, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout, and Kenora) had their proposal meetings utilizing Zoom Video Communications. Following the proposal meetings, the bargaining committee met for several days to establish the monetary and non-monetary proposals. The current collective agreement was reviewed by the committee for areas that required appropriate changes.

On June 15, Unifor and the Company met via video conference where both parties exchanged proposals. The following day, the committee met to review the company’s proposals. On June 17, the union and company met via video conferencing to formally open negotiations. Bargaining between the parties continued for four days (June 18, 22-24), and on the last day, both parties agreed to sign off on a number of proposed changes to the collective agreement. Although this is positive news, there is still much work to be completed. The committee believes discussions have been productive and cordial, and common ground has been found on a number of issues.

We are pleased to announce that the following dates have been set aside with the company to continue bargaining: August 31, 2020, September 1 to 2, 9, 11, 15, 30, and October 1 to 2, 2020.

As the bargaining process unfolds, the committee will continue to keep you updated. However, to protect the integrity of the negotiations, the committee will not be able to discuss specific details with the membership while in middle of the bargaining process. We are ready to negotiate a new collective agreement that is fair and equitable for our members at Ornge.


We would like to thank the membership for their support and we will continue to keep you informed of any further developments.


In Solidarity,

Your Ornge Bargaining Committee
Mark Etherington, Chairperson
Keith Simons, Northern Bases
Geoffrey Brown, Southern Bases
Ashley Watkins, Assistant to the Local President
Kelly-Anne Orr, National Staff Representative



For more information, kindly contact:
Ashley Watkins, Assistant to the Local President



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