Local 27 Health Care members secure landmark contract with London Health Sciences Centre

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A male nurse checking on a IV bag

After months of intense negotiations and overcoming significant challenges, the members of Local 27 have emerged victorious with a ground-breaking new contract at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

The deal, hailed as a triumph for workers' rights and fair compensation, encompasses a diverse array of job titles and sets new standards for wage enhancements and benefit improvements.

"Our members are the lifeblood of patient care," Lana Payne, Unifor National President. "From the caregivers who provide comfort and support to patients and families, to the skilled tradespeople who maintain the critical infrastructure, every role is essential. After enduring years of Bill 124 wage restrictions, this contract recognizes the value of their work and ensures that their dedication is reciprocated with fair wages and improved benefits."

The contract negotiations addressed the concerns and aspirations of LHSC healthcare professionals, including technicians, assistants, service and clerical workers, Skilled Trades, Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), and Personal Support Workers (PSWs). The negotiations aimed not only to secure fair compensation but also to recognize the vital contributions of each role in the healthcare ecosystem.

"This contract isn't just a piece of paper; it's a testament to the dedication and unity of our members," Keri Selmes, Vice-President Health Care, Unifor Local 27. "We have shown that when workers stand together, we can achieve remarkable outcomes that directly benefit workers and their families. This isn't just a victory for workers; it's a triumph for every individual who contributes to the invaluable services provided at London Health Sciences Centre."

The negotiations resulted in several significant gains for Local 27 members including wage increases, PSW Wage Enhancement, RPN Wage Adjustment, Skilled Trades Wage Adjustments, increase to shift and weekend premiums and enhanced health benefits.

Negotiating this ground-breaking contract was not without its hurdles. The negotiation process began amid the backdrop of Bill 124, which introduced restrictions on wage increases in the public sector. Parties engaged in multiple rounds of bargaining and conciliation sessions throughout 2021 and 2022. With the looming threat of arbitration, the negotiation process was further complicated.

However, Local 27's perseverance paid off. The contract negotiations resumed following the voiding of Bill 124 and the issuance of the Kaplan decision for CUPE/SEIU. A monumental achievement was reached on July 19, 2023, when the deal was secured. The contract was subsequently ratified on July 30, 2023, with 96% of members voting in favour of the deal.

The newly established contract spans a period of three years, effective from October 11, 2021, to October 10, 2024.