Legal Aid Ontario lawyers vote to be represented by union
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
In a vote conducted by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, a majority of Legal Aid Ontario's staff lawyers have voted to be represented by the union the Society of Energy Professionals.
In September, LAO allowed its staff lawyers, who are employed full-time by LAO, to explore options around representation by a collective bargaining regime. The vote took place across the province the week of October 17.
246 voted yes and 76 voted no to the union.
"When this voting process began, my hope was that each and every lawyer at LAO would have a voice in this matter." says David Field, President and CEO of Legal Aid Ontario. "It is for this reason that I am pleased we had an amazingly large voter turnout—92 per cent overall. I would like our staff lawyers to please be assured we have heard their voice. We will work with the Society of Energy Professionals and their representatives to make LAO the best possible workplace."
As a first step, David Field has contacted the President of the Society of Energy Professionals on behalf of LAO to schedule the first meetings to work out the framework agreement to govern the relationship between the parties and the negotiation of a collective agreement.
"A vote such as this can be a divisive experience between colleagues. This is a time to come together and to recognize the common ideals we have at LAO." he notes. "We all must continue to work towards increasing access to justice and in creating a positive work environment for everyone."