Ornge Update – Exemption from Bill 124 – Response Received

Ornge Update – Exemption from Bill 124 – Response Received

August 18, 2021 at 5:00 PM


In May 2021, Unifor sent an urgent meeting request to Ontario Premier Doug Ford in an effort to exempt Local 2002 Ornge paramedics from Bill 124; legislation that violates members’ collective bargaining rights and caps annual compensation increases to one per cent. A copy of the letter was also forwarded to Christine Elliott, M.P.P. Deputy Premier of Ontario and Peter Bethlenfalvy, M.P.P. President of the Treasury Board.

A video conference was conducted on May 26, 2021, with the above-said parties, to discuss the negative impacts of the legislation. The meeting focused on a fair and equitable playing field with all other Ontario EMS services, the ongoing challenges of recruitment and retention of paramedics at Ornge, as well as the inadequate mental health resources available for our members.

On July 9th – with the assistance of Unifor’s legal team – further information was provided to the Treasury Board of Ontario with regards to an exemption under Bill 124.

Unifor has now received a response from Treasury Board; the request for exemption under Bill 124 has been denied. Click here to read the correspondence.

As a consequence of this decision by the Ontario government, all terms and conditions of Bill 124 will continue to apply for the Ornge bargaining unit as we proceed through the conciliation process. This includes the cap of 1% on annual compensation increases.

Unifor is extremely disappointed in the decision that has been rendered. However, we will continue to push forward.

Your Unifor bargaining committee convened today to strategize and prepare for upcoming conciliation on September 2, 2021.

For now, please ensure you are subscribed to e-news. Further information will follow as we progress through conciliation.


In Solidarity,

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



For more information, please contact:
Denise Cochrane, Assistant to the Local President



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