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Strike Pay Q & A

Strike Pay Q & A

We the North
We the North
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Questions and answers about strike pay for correctional workers in the event of a strike or lockout in the Ontario Public Service.

Your bargaining team continues to bargain for a better contract, not a strike. However, in the event of a strike or lockout, members are entitled to receive strike pay. The following questions and answers deal with issues most often raised by members.

Your bargaining team continues to bargain for a better contract, not a strike. However, in the event of a strike or lockout, members are entitled to receive strike pay. The following questions and answers deal with issues most often raised by members.

Q1. How much is strike pay?

Strike pay is provided to members who complete strike-related duties assigned by their Local Strike Committee. Only signed-up members are eligible to receive strike pay.

During weeks one to three, each member is entitled to strike pay of $150 per week plus an additional $24 per week, per dependant. The daily rate is $30 per day and $4.80 per day, per dependant.

During the fourth week, strike pay increases and each member is entitled to $240 per week, or $48 per day. Dependant pay remains the same at $24 per week per dependant. A dependant is defined as:

  • a non-income-earning spouse (excluding a spouse on strike)
  • a child under 18 (or under 26 if attending school full-time) or a dependent child as defined by the collective agreement or benefit plan
  • a disabled family member
  • an elderly family member who normally receives financial support from the striking member

If both spouses are on strike, both may claim the dependants.

Q2. What are strike duties?

Strike duties include picketing, running strike headquarters, and handling logistics, to name a few. These are the strategic duties assigned by your Local Strike Committee that will help put maximum pressure on the employer to ensure a short strike and a new contract.

Q3. How much time must I spend picketing to qualify for strike pay?

You must perform a minimum of four hours of strike duty per day or a minimum of 20 hours per week in order to be eligible for strike pay. Each local will want every member to put in as much time as possible to support the strike.

Q4. What about day care costs?

There are no provisions for day care costs while on strike. You must work with your Local Strike Committee to make suitable arrangements or accommodations so that you can fulfil your strike responsibilities.

Q5. What if I am on an accommodation?

Members on accommodation should be assigned to appropriate strike duties. A member seeking accommodation must complete a Form J and has an obligation to inform their Local Strike Committee of their need for accommodation and to help their committee find accommodation solutions, keeping in mind that accommodations for individuals should respect their dignity.

Q6. How will I receive my strike pay?

The Local Finance Sub-Committee of your Local Strike Committee submits records of strike duties weekly to the Accounting Department at OPSEU Head Office. Members who have completed a Form B will then receive their strike pay from Accounting by direct deposit. Ensure that OPSEU has your non-employer e-mail address to receive confirmations.

Q7. What is the Hardship Relief Committee?

This is a sub-committee of the Local Finance Sub-Committee which assists and provides advice to members who may require assistance.

The Hardship Relief Committee is responsible for helping members secure loans from credit unions and to intercede on behalf of members who are unable to meet credit obligations. The Hardship Relief Committee may make recommendations to the Local Strike Committee for the allocation of special assistance to members experiencing particular hardship. This is not funded centrally by OPSEU, but from donations, fundraising, and so on.

Please note that the normal hardships of being on strike do not qualify a member for hardship relief. To qualify, a member must first exhaust all other reasonable options.

All members are strongly encouraged to continue to plan their personal finances. Contact your bank, credit union, your landlord, your daycare provider, etc., to discuss payment options. The earlier you make a plan the better prepared you will be.

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Related: Crisis In Corrections Index Page

Authorized for distribution by Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president