Following many months of work at the negotiating table, The Society’s Legal Aid Ontario Lawyers’ bargaining unit reached a tentative deal on their first collective agreement.
In a November 1 email to their members with the exciting news, the Legal Aid Ontario Interim Local Committee said:
Make no mistake, this (agreement) was a hard-fought accomplishment. Guided by your responses to the surveys we sent out, we pushed our employer to enshrine the entitlements that we currently enjoy and, more significantly, for considerable improvements in the areas that concerned you the most. We bargained to help secure quality service to our clients and to ensure safe work environments. We fought for the respect that we deserve from our employer, and for a voice at the table going forward on issues that impact the work that we are passionate about. With your support, we have laid the foundation upon which all future rounds of collective bargaining will be built. That base is broad, and it is strong. It is a solid start in setting a new course for the relationship between us and our employer.
As with all collective agreements, the LAO lawyers’ deal is tentative until ratified by a vote of the members. Voting opened on November 28 and runs through December 4 at noon.
To help members make an informed decision on the proposed collective agreement, the Interim Local Committee is holding more than 20 member meetings from Cornwall to Windsor and Toronto to Sudbury, as well as two telephone town halls to provide opportunities for members in northern and remote areas to participate.
At their meetings, the Interim Local Committee is emphasizing the importance of members voting to demonstrate to the employer that Society members are committed to being active participants in setting their terms of work.