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Ornge gives bonuses to staff after trying to cancel performance pay

Ontario's troubled air ambulance service is giving its managers and executives performance pay after trying to cancel the bonuses last year.

Ornge said last March that it wouldn't award bonuses to its non-unionized employees, just unionized workers in keeping with their collective agreement.

But The Canadian Press has learned a group of employees appealed the decision to the federal government arbiter and won, causing Ornge's board of directors to reverse course.

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Ornge chairman Ian Delaney says Ornge will award nearly $2 million in performance pay to 424 unionized and non-unionized employees this fiscal year — an average of about $4,632 each.

In a letter to Health Minister Deb Matthews, Delaney says it won't apply to anyone who worked for the now bankrupt entities of Ornge.

It also doesn't apply to anyone who joined Ornge after March 31, 2012, including its current executives.

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