Public Health Keen to Resume Labour Negotiations

Written by admin, February 18, 2015

February 18, 2015 – Board of Health Offer Preserves Jobs While Giving Modest Increase

The negotiating team of Peterborough Public Health is keen to get back to the table with ONA and CUPE union representatives to save public health jobs and services with a new contract.

“Despite criticism from ONA and CUPE that the current offer isn’t enough, it does provide a 0.5% increase while preserving jobs,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “The Board of Health has listened to their demands for higher wages and while the increase is modest, it enables us to maintain current services and keep these good, public sector jobs in Peterborough.”  Dr. Salvaterra added that although Public Health wage increases for those at the top of the salary grid may be less than desired by all parties, it is spending more each year to maintain the same level of benefits which go up as staff usage increases.

The Public Health receives 75% of its funding from the province, and 25% from local municipalities.  The Board of Health is asking both the province and local municipalities for a 2.95% increase this year.  This has been approved at the local level, however, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care staff are warning boards of health to brace themselves for a possible freeze in provincial funding.

Dr. Salvaterra noted that she hopes when negotiations resume in March that both CUPE and ONA and Public Health can reach a fair settlement to avoid a strike.  The Board of Health is offering a 0.5% wage increase to both unions, the same amount OPSEU workers agreed to in September 2014.  Presently, CUPE is asking for a 3% increase and ONA is asking for 2%.

All Public Health financial statements and 2015 budgets approved to date by the Board of Health are available at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.