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Ottawa patient transfer service admits to anti-union scheme, wage increases and contract protections restored to CUPE members

CUPE local 4000 members are celebrating after scoring a major victory in an unfair labour practice dispute.

In October 2009 recently organized CUPE local 4000 members at Travois Patient Transfer successfully negotiated their first collective agreement, which included two dollar per hour salary increases and other new protections. These gains put their contract among the best in Ontario for the ambulance sector.

Unfortunately, in May 2010 Travois decided to close their doors and moved services out of Ottawa rather than honoring their agreement, shocking employees.

Travois reopened in nearby Arnprior under the name Ontario Patient Transfer with a new union—the International Association of Machinists—replacing CUPE local 4000.

CUPE immediately applied for an injunction and filed an unfair labour practice complaint at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

After a five-month fight, in October 2010 the employer finally admitted that Travois and Ontario Patient Transfer were the same company and agreed to reopen the base in Ottawa.

This Ottawa base will be once again covered by the superior CUPE contract, including the previously negotiated wage increases and protections. All former employees have been offered employment and will retain their full seniority.

Local 4000 president Bruce Waller anticipates that a majority of the workers will return to the Ottawa base.

Travois Patient Transfer provides non-emergency medical transport to patients travelling between hospital, home and medical appointments.