Summer caseworkers at Parkdale Community Legal Services ratify first contract

Agreement includes defined hours of work, grievance rights
||Last Updated: 02/11/2016

Summer caseworkers at Toronto’s Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS) voted unanimously to ratify their first-ever collective agreement.

The new unit — formed in August 2015 — represents approximately 20 students enrolled in the Osgood Hall Law program. The members work at PCLS from May to August.

The contract includes defined hours of work, grievance and arbitration rights, paid vacation time and bereavement leave.

According to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), this collective agreement marks the first time in PCLS’s 45-year history that summer caseworkers will have a legal say over their wages and working conditions.

“This is the first bargaining unit of its kind in the legal aid sector,” said OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

“This new collective agreement will change the nature of the clinic for the better, as well as bolster other organizing efforts across Ontario’s legal sector.”

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