ARCH Hospice Workers Picket Over Unfair Delays for First Contract


ARCH Hospice workers, represented by Unifor Local 1359, picketed outside the hospice on Friday afternoon to highlight the company’s unreasonable resistance to fairly bargain.

“Just over 18 months ago, employees of ARCH Hospice voted to join Unifor, so that they could unite their voices to raise working conditions and care conditions at the hospice,” said Jerry Dias Unifor National President in a press release.

“But they have faced a brick wall at the bargaining table in the form of a high-priced Toronto lawyer, flown in to make certain they do not even get basic contract provisions like seniority, job postings and overtime.”

Unifor Local 1359 represents the Registered Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Personal Support Workers and the chef at ARCH Hospice.

The union has been in negotiations with the employer for a year (July 2018), but the employer has failed to agree to their proposals that will improve patient care and make ARCH Hospice a better place to work.

“Our community often refers to ARCH employees as angels for their daily compassion towards patients in end of life care,” said Cathy Humalamaki, President, Unifor Local 1359.

“These angels want respect and a fair conversation with their employer.”

On May 1, 2019, the union voted 85 per cent in favour of striking if an agrement cannot be reached. They’ve been working with a Ministry of Labour conciliator to reach an agreement to avoid this. The union is prepared to return to negotiations at anytime.

ONNtv was at the picket and spoke to Humalamaki


  1. Please, do your research and present both sides of this issue. That research would show that these employees are in fact one of, if not the, highest paid and with the most benefits of any non profit hospice in the province. Arch has been ready to negotiate a reasonable bargain since the union was voted in.

    • Greg Simpson Bullshit…my union has been without a contract for 4 yrs, the gov calls us for negotiations and wont negotiate! PSW are some of the hardest working people with more depth and compassion than most could even understand. They tell us garbage like you are the highest paid in the industry. Just because the industry doesn’t value what we do until it is strike time, doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve a fair wage! This is not my union or my place of work but I definitely think they need to strike! Too bad the places of employment and the government don’t care about their workers, just how much money is in it for them. They also keep all the PSW’s in separate unions, so their numbers in a strike are limited. Shame on the government and shame on the employers. Walk one day in a PSW job and do what I do and see what I see and then maybe you will understand that we deserve better pay, better benefits and a couple of mental health days thrown in! Good Luck Arch employees! Thank you for doing what most will say, “oh, I could never do that”

    • Missing my point…. I don’t doubt the issue… nor do I think they shouldn’t do something about it… but why should someone who is going to see a dying friend or family member have to be subjected to your fight right in front of the arch???? Fight as much as you want… just don’t do it right there…. insensitive…..

  2. Wishing all the amazing employees at ARCH all the best in getting a far contract.
    Give theses amazing workers a decent contract they deserve it.
    Always going above and beyond for all the family’s in a very difficult time. 👍❤️🙏🇨🇦

    • Chris Maitland mom and pepe at the same time.. the staff there are unreal. the way they treated them and made them feel like they were part of the family place is just amazing could never thank them enough. So yeah they deserve more than they’re asking for good luck

  3. I really feel bad for the people who are ending their lives surrounded by people who are unhappy, and unsatisfied being there, you can be sure the people in care there are aware of the tension.

  4. this situation is very sad –it has hurt fundraising—that is a fact—–don t believe otherwise—last media on this issue was in may—now July 5 and still no result’s—-someone in TEAM MANAGEMENT IS not doing their job—-and should step down—-the negative moral and spirit of employees and donor will take years to be resolved —-

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