CUPE Local 4000 Ottawa Hospital workers win arbitration decision on signed settlement dated March 2010
OTTAWA, ON – On March 11, 2010, CUPE Local 4000 and the Ottawa Hospital signed a Memorandum of Settlement as a new collective agreement. After the provincial budget, the hospital tried to renege on this settlement, and both parties filed for interest arbitration according to the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA).
The arbitrators’ panel decided yesterday, in favour of CUPE Local 4000’s position that this settlement was a binding contract. This agreement includes most of the local language plus the Central Agreement negotiated by the 20,000 members of Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).
CUPE Local 4000 represents more than 3,600 part-time and full-time workers who are RPNs, cooks, cleaners, clerical staff, shippers and receivers, electricians and plumbers at the various Ottawa Hospital campuses. Ottawa Hospital is comprised of three campuses (the Civic, General and Riverside), as well as a number of institutes and centres including the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre and the Rehabilitation Centre.
The arbitration panel found that: “The Memorandum is consistent with both the historical bargaining pattern of the parties and contemporary comparator norms and, most importantly, the departures from the Memorandum that would be sought are radical… It cannot be, [Hospital position]… relied upon to nullify good faith bargaining and distort the application of Section 9(1) of the HLDAA.”
“We signed this settlement in March in the best interest of our members and we have done this bargaining in good faith. We expected that the employer would stick to this signed contract,” said Bruce Waller, president of CUPE Local 4000.
CUPE’s position has always been that the Ontario’s government Bill 16 announcing a compensation freeze in its last budget would not change our position to negotiate in good faith without outside interference; “we are happy that this arbitration panel has confirmed our position,” added Serge Lalonde, CUPE National Representative.
The full settlement can be obtained from the office of arbitrator Kevin Burkett.
For more information, contact:
President, CUPE Local 4000
CUPE National Representative
416-292-3999 ext. 213