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CUPEs determination to protect members from lay off paid off on Wednesday October 7 as pivotal job protection language was saved at the Ottawa Hospital (Civic Campus).

Local 1580, representing paramedical employees at the hospital, had fought hard for job protection language in its contract that guaranteed jobs after five years service. Its the only paramedical contract in Ottawa that has such protection, but the protection was effectively negated after an arbitration ruling earlier this year. CUPE appealed the ruling to the Ontario Court.

“Just as we fought to get the language in the first place, we fought back when they tried to take it away,” said Tami MacDonald, President of Local 1580. “We appealed the arbitration and won. The judge said we were right.

“When the judge ruled that the language stays in our contract, we showed fighting back works.”

There are about 450 members of the local, grateful for the job and contracting-out protection in their contract as the hospital enters a potentially damaging period of restructuring.