Vote OPSEU. Ontario Coroners: Time to Turn the Corner

Coroner union certification vote: April 5–7, 2022

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has officially ordered a certification vote to take, April 5 – April 7, 2022.

  • Online voting begins: Tuesday, April 5 (noon)
  • Online voting closes: Thursday, April 7 (noon)

In December 2021, coroners across Ontario voted 95 per cent in favour of entering into a co-operation agreement with OPSEU/SEFPO. We now encourage coroners to vote YES to secure a legal voice in achieving bargaining rights.

How do I vote?

You will be voting online.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board will send you an email (your email provided to the OCC). Before voting begins, you will be emailed a personal identification number (PIN). The PIN is strictly for personal use and must not be shared. A valid PIN is required to vote.

Will my employer or co-workers know how I voted?

No. The vote will be held by secret ballot. Voters are entitled to vote without interference, restraint, or coercion.

What if I don’t receive a PIN number, or cannot access my PIN number?

Call the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) Help Desk at: 416-326-7432

The OLRB Help Desk will be available to help you:

  • Tuesday, April 5: 1 pm to 4 pm
  • Wednesday, April 6: 11 am to 1 pm
  • Thursday, April 7: 10 am to 11 am

Please leave a detailed message with your full name, contact information, and OLRB case number 2423-21-R, and a Labour Relations Officer will respond to your message as soon as possible.

What is the question on the ballot:

In your employment relations with your Employer, do you wish to be represented by the Union?        

Need more info? Contact us anytime. It’s confidential!

Kiera Chion
OPSEU/SEFPO Organizing Representative
Direct cell: (416) 526-0330
kchion@opseu.org

Why is the Solicitor General letting Ontario’s Chief Coroner cut the services Ontario’s grieving families need?

Until now, grieving families have had the comfort of knowing that all Ontario coroners are licensed medical doctors. They have the experience, training and understanding this difficult job demands.

But a proposal has been made to change the rules and let far less qualified people be coroners. Potentially, even people with no medical experience.

It’s all part of a plan by the Office of the Chief Coroner to cut the level and quality of service families depend on – first in nursing homes and now everywhere else.

It couldn’t come at a worse time. The Ontario death rate is rising and cases are becoming more complex. The opioid crisis, Covid and issues in nursing homes are making it even more vital that we have the very best coroners.

Lowering the qualifications for coroners is a very bad idea.

  • Families will be denied the closure they need.
  • Crimes will go unrecognized.
  • Dangerous situations will go unreported.
  • The number of expensive and time-consuming autopsies will skyrocket.

As Ontario’s coroners, we call on the Premier and Solicitor General to tell the Office of the Chief Coroner to drop this plan now and give families the quality of care they deserve.

A message from:

The Ontario Coroners Association
OPSEU/SEFPO

We have the best coroners in Canada. Why would we change that now?

Right now, when a sudden death occurs in Ontario, grieving families can take comfort in knowing that all Ontario coroners are licensed medical doctors.

Families know they’re going to get the answers they need from someone who is knowledgeable, experienced and understanding.

That’s why our system is so highly regarded.

But a proposal has been made to change the rules and let far less qualified people be coroners. Even people with no medical experience.

Lowering the qualifications for coroners is a very bad idea.

  • Families will be denied the closure they need.
  • Crimes will go unrecognized.
  • Dangerous situations will go unreported.
  • The number of expensive and time-consuming autopsies will skyrocket.

As Ontario’s coroners, we call on the Premier and Solicitor General to tell the Office of the Chief Coroner to drop this plan now and give families the quality of care they deserve.

A message from:

The Ontario Coroners Association
OPSEU/SEFPO

They said it was just a routine operation …

A family member dies unexpectedly in hospital.

That’s when the coroner is called in, a trusted expert to answer grieving families’ questions and ensure hospitals are supported to deliver the highest quality care.

Right now, Ontario’s coroners are licensed medical doctors who have the knowledge, training and understanding that this complex job demands.

But the Office of the Chief Coroner has made a proposal to change the rules and let far less qualified people be coroners. Potentially, even people with no medical experience.

Lowering the qualifications for coroners is a very bad idea.

  • Families will be denied the closure they need.
  • Dangerous situations in hospitals will go unreported.
  • Crimes will go unrecognized.
  • The number of expensive and time-consuming autopsies will skyrocket.

This couldn’t come at a worse time. The Ontario death rate is rising and cases are becoming more complex. Hospitals are understaffed and pushed to their limits. Having the very best coroners is more important than ever.

As Ontario’s coroners, we call on the Premier and Solicitor General to tell the Office of the Chief Coroner to drop this plan now and give families the quality of care they deserve.

A message from:

The Ontario Coroners Association
OPSEU/SEFPO

OPSEU/SEFPO proceeds with plans to organize Ontario’s coroners

March 29, 2022

Toronto – OPSEU/SEFPO has filed a certification application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to unionize all Coroners who work for Office of the Chief Coroner.

The roughly 300 investigative coroners voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining forces with OPSEU/SEFPO earlier this year.

OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says he hopes the provincial government quickly moves forward with recognizing the union as the official bargaining agent for the Coroners. “OPSEU/SEFPO would be delighted to be the voice of the coroners,” said Thomas.  “They believe as we do that front-line know-how should be at the table when decisions are made and we’ll make sure the politicians and managers hear their concerns.”

Ontario Coroners Association (OCA) President Dr. Jeannie Walton says investigative coroners are concerned about a plan circulating in government that would allow people who are not doctors to become coroners.

“Ontario has the finest death investigation system in the world,” said Walton.  “It’s the envy of other jurisdictions and it would be tragic and short-sighted to replace doctors with non-physicians. Coroner’s work is best performed by doctors.”

Thomas hopes the provincial government will move as swiftly as possible to recognize OPSEU/SEFPO as the official bargaining agent.

“The coroners have been very clear that they want OPSEU/SEFPO to be their voice in the corridors of power,” said Thomas. “We look forward to representing them.”

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For more information:  Warren (Smokey) Thomas:  613-329-1931

Province’s coroners choose OPSEU/SEFPO to represent them

Feb. 18, 2022

TORONTO – Ontario’s coroners have overwhelmingly voted in favour of joining forces with OPSEU/SEFPO and hope for quick recognition from the province.

The Ontario Coroners Association (OCA) has not been able to negotiate good working conditions for its members for some time. Late last year they voted 95 per cent in favour of entering a co-operation agreement with OPSEU/SEFPO.

OPSEU/SEFPO has asked the government to agree to allow the union to represent the hundreds of front-line coroners, and President Warren (Smokey) Thomas hopes the province will swiftly recognize their wishes.

“We are pleased that another group of front-line professionals feel that OPSEU/SEFPO is the best choice to fight for better working conditions,” said Thomas. “Coroners provide a vital public service, and we hope the provincial government will recognize their right to choose OPSEU/SEFPO.”

Dr. Jeannie Walton, President of OCA, believes that OPSEU/SEFPO is the best choice to fight to ensure the death investigation system is never compromised.

“This is specialized work and not something that can be done by just anyone,” said Walton. “OPSEU/SEFPO understands the importance of front-line expertise, and we believe they can bring our know-how to the corridors of power.”

OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, who is a correctional officer, says OPSEU/SEFPO is the right place for coroners to be.

“We represent members in various sectors who do work that is complementary to the work that coroners’ perform,” said Almeida. “It makes sense that OPSEU/SEFPO should be their bargaining agent, because we already understand the fundamental issues that coroners are concerned about and will know how to make their case to their employer and to government.”

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For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931; opseucommunications@opseu.org;

Dr. Jeannie Walton: Dr.WaltonOCAPresident@gmail.com

Ontario Coroners – Time to turn the corner

The Ontario Coroners Association

OPSEU/SEFPO