THUNDER BAY — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has won the right to represent employees of NorWest Community Health Centres.
Discussions on the process of negotiating a first collective agreement are expected to begin soon.
This follows a representation vote conducted in June under the supervision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, in which more than 50 per cent of the workforce opted to join OPSEU.
The union will now bargain for 126 staff at NorWest CHC including nurse practitioners, nurses, therapists, office staff and others.
OPSEU spokesperson Ken Maclam said he expects the workers will benefit significantly from the experience the union has had in other workplaces in resolving health, safety and training issues.
Juanita Lawson, executive director of NorWest CHC, said the organization looks forward to working with its employees and with OPSEU to achieve a collective agreement.
Lawson said she's confident management and staff will be able to work together to fill the needs of their clients.
"Through COVID, we were fully operational, and we continued to do great work in our community and work with our community partners, and still provide excellent care...I don't see any changes happening in the near future."