There were no real surprises at the Central/Unified table when the employer tabled their proposal for the new OPS collective agreement. The team expected to see cuts, and that’s exactly what they were given. Overall, the employer’s position would gut the very heart of the Ontario Public Service and leave members vulnerable. This is not a pause in collective bargaining as suggested by Dwight Duncan. This is a rewind.
The employer’s position includes:
- A two-year agreement.
- A two-year pay freeze.
- Creation of a new step on the wage grid 3 per cent lower than the lowest step.
- Reduce sick time payments after six days from 75 per cent to 66 and two-thirds per cent. After six days absence, the next two days would be without pay, and for any subsequent absence the first two days of that absence would be without pay. Ability to top up sick leave only to 75 per cent and only with vacation credits.
- Change benefits to a maximum annual dollar limit for all services instead of service specific caps.
- Increased use of temporary employees and consultants.
- Gutting Job Security (Article 20 and Appendix 40)
- Increase full-time conversion unclassified employees from 18 months to 24 months.
- Elimination of termination pay under Reasonable Efforts
- Eliminating termination pay for all new employees
- Freeze the current entitlements for existing employees; for example, if you currently have 14 years’ service, you will be capped at that and will not be able to earn any more.
- Elimination of Surplus Factor 80
This proposal is an outright attack on the OPS agreement.
OPSEU’s proposal includes comprehensive language to protect public services from privatization, improved job security provisions, improvements to Fixed Term, Seasonal and Student language, health and safety, posting and filling of vacancies, improved vacation language, and improved benefit language. Monetary issues will be tabled later during bargaining.
Yesterday, the employer tabled their ingoing demands document with the Corrections Bargaining Team.
In brief, this document reflects a simplistic “bean counter” approach to this round of collective bargaining in the Corrections Bargaining Unit. It is clear that this employer has no desire to address the key issues affecting our members. Instead, they are seeking to “harmonize” the Corrections collective agreement with the settlements achieved with OECTA and AMAPCEO…not two organizations that Corrections can be credibly compared to.
The employer continues to fail to acknowledge chronic health and safety concerns, staffing pressures and workload problems. After further discussion, the employer confirmed that their initial proposals seek the following:
- Two year duration/term
- Wage freeze, grid progression freeze, lowering of start grids
- Continue with the ASMPP as a permanent program, institute a cap on bonus and significantly reduce CO/YSO Target levels, continue to deny access to Incentives for other bargaining unit members; in effect, they want to “raise the bar” to achieving Incentive levels
- premium and allowance reductions/takeaways and overtime reductions
- change FXT schedules to require work every weekend
- no CTO for Bailiffs
- reduce the Probation Officer Allowance
- no real workload relief for PPOs
Clearly, the “pause” button has been replaced with the “rewind” button.