Southwestern Legal Aid Staff Join OPSEU
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Legal Aid Ontario employees working out of the six locations of the Essex-Lambton-Kent district office have voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
Workers at the district offices cited a number of reasons for wanting to unionize, including a desire for greater fairness, increased transparency, the security of having terms and conditions of employment that cannot be changed unilaterally, and having a voice to raise and address issues collectively, rather than individually.
“The common denominator was that workers really wanted a voice in the workplace,’ said Kareen Marshall, chair of OPSEU’s Community Agencies Division. “They had enough of one-way conversations with the employer. OPSEU will give them that voice – one the employer can no longer simply disregard.”
The LAO offices are located in Windsor, Sarnia, and Chatham. The new members work as legal aid workers and district triage officers. They join some 250 LAO workers already represented by OPSEU.
LAO is an independent, publicly funded, non-profit corporation that provides low-income individuals with legal aid services. LAO helps almost 4,000 disadvantaged people from 76 clinics every day.