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We're growing again: welcome Legal Aid Ontario Supervisory Duty Counsel

The Supervisory Duty Counsel (SDC) lawyers employed by Legal Aid Ontario have voted to join the Society of United Professionals, IFPTE 160.

“We are delighted that our membership has expanded at LAO. The inclusion of SDCs is a natural fit and strengthens our bargaining position to help make improvements within LAO and for the broader legal community, said Scott Travers, President of the Society of United Professionals.”

“Our union now represents more than 400 legal professionals and we are committed to expanding our work in this area,” said Travers.

“Voting Yes for the Society was an obvious choice for me. I now have access to an excellent collective agreement with a voice in the workplace that advocates on my behalf. I’m very happy that 88% of SDCs voted in favour of unionizing,” said Alex von Bredow, an SDC located in Barrie.

Prior to the addition of 24 SDCs, the Society represented more than 300 lawyers and articling students at LAO. During negotiation of the LAO Lawyers’ collective agreement last year, the parties agreed to hold a vote of the Supervisory Duty Counsels (SDCs) following ratification of the Lawyers’ collective agreement on the question of joining the existing Lawyers’ bargaining unit. The vote was conducted by mail-in ballot.

The LAO SDCs are the first group of employees that have joined the Society of United Professionals this year. In 2018, the professionals who work for the National Judicial Institute in Ottawa, Toronto’s Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, and the Toronto Hydro IT Professionals all joined the Society.

The Society of United Professionals continues to look for opportunities to represent new groups of workers. Interested employees can contact Society of United Professionals Organizer Michelle LeBlanc at leblancm@thesociety.ca to discuss making their working life better. Visit www.thesociety.ca/join for more information.