93 per cent: Team returns to table with strong mandate
The votes are in, and the result is clear: OPSEU members at the LCBO stand with their bargaining team's demands for a stronger and better LCBO. The 93 per cent strike vote sent a clear message to management, one that was picked up by media outlets across the province, with coverage referring to the "overwhelming" result, and the "strong mandate" given to the bargaining team by workers.
The team is now back at the bargaining table, and has met with the conciliator assigned by the Ministry of Labour. As mentioned in the news release yesterday, the bargaining team has confirmed that the union will not be taking any job action in advance of the May long weekend, as they continue to pursue a deal at the table.
While the team continues to negotiate for a deal, it's up to members across the province to keep up the pressure on the employer. More information about how you can keep the pressure on, and what you can do to help your bargaining team, will be coming soon.
From the chair: Thank you
The strong strike vote we got on April 25 is a shared victory.
An overwhelming result like that doesn't come without a lot of hard work. On behalf of the bargaining team, I want to thank the mobilizers who visited every work site, local leadership who devoted their energies to turning out the vote, members who spoke to colleagues and friends about the importance of voting "Yes", union staff who provided the support and expertise to pull off a provincewide vote, and OPSEU's elected leadership who committed their time and resources to making this all possible.
With your vote, you've told the employer that you support and trust your bargaining team. And I know I speak for the whole team when I say we take that responsibility seriously.
We've returned to the table more committed than ever to defeat the employer's anti-worker proposals and deliver that stronger and better LCBO – one that provides job security for workers, meaningful shifts for casuals, an end to staff working alone, time with family, union workers doing union jobs, and safeguards this public asset that provides so much for the people of Ontario.
We're not backing down – and you've shown the employer that neither are you. Together, we can save the LCBO – not just the LCBO we have, but the better LCBO we all know is possible.
Chair, LBED bargaining team
Telephone town hall engages more than a quarter of all members
More than 2,200 members joined one of two telephone town hall calls held on Wednesday, April 19 to hear from the bargaining team chair and vice-chair, and OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
Members heard an update on bargaining, a strong message of support from the wider union, and had an opportunity to ask questions and get answers from the bargaining team and their negotiator.
And what a set of questions! Between the two calls, more than 50 questions were asked and answered.
If you have a question you'd like to know the answer to, you can always email us at LBEDbargaining@opseu.org.
Update on CSR wage grid implementation
A joint communication from the employer and OPSEU went out yesterday regarding the CSR wage grid implementation in retail stores. As you may know, the employer has processed retroactive pay
which will be showing up in your May 4 pay. The Union is aware that not all grid calculations are correct and is continuing to work with the employer to try and resolve these. In addition, employees who believe their grid placement is incorrect may file a formal challenge between Friday May 19 and Sunday June 18 using the grid placement challenge form.
Message from the President: Your union stands with you
As your bargaining team pushes for the better LCBO that workers deserve, your union stands with you.
First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida wrote a blog on this on Friday, which you can find online. In it, he encouraged all OPSEU members to show their solidarity for LBED members, and reminded us all that solidarity, that act of standing together, is the true strength of the labour movement that no employer can match.
We saw that recently in the case of one of our Developmental Services locals, Local 316, which took on an attack by their employer and, with the support of other members, got a fair deal. As Eddy describes in his blog, that victory holds an important reminder for all of us that the road to victory will always be the one we walk together.
As we took our convention message onto the streets of Toronto last month for the rally in front of LCBO headquarters, I saw members from across the province and from many different workplaces, standing together with OPSEU members from the LCBO, saying "if you pick a fight with one of us, you pick a fight with all of us."
I'll echo that message, and add one more for LCBO management.
If you truly want a fight – we'll give you one… and we'll win.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Meet your mobilizers!
In collective bargaining, power comes from the support of union members. Experience has shown that employers move at the bargaining table when members take action inside and outside the workplace. To help build that power, OPSEU has booked off 15 mobilizers, elected by LBED members at your Pre-Bargaining Conference in April 2016. These mobilizers, who are your co-workers at the LCBO, are on union leave, starting Monday, February 27. They will work to build support for your elected bargaining team and the bargaining priorities you selected during demand-setting.
Meet your bargaining team
The OPSEU bargaining team for the Liquor Board Employees Division consists of five members:
Denise Davis, Chair, Local 378
Colleen MacLeod, Vice-Chair, Local 5107
Jennifer Van Zetten, Local 162
Robin Reath, Local 163
Mark Larocque, Local 499
The bargaining team is assisted by OPSEU Negotiator Jeff Weston, Researcher Steve Crossman, and other assigned staff.
Contact us by email at LBEDbargaining@opseu.org
You can receive this bargaining bulletin (and our regular newsletter, the Echo) directly by e-mail. Just call OPSEU at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888, and give the operator your name and e-mail address.
You can also watch for updates on the OPSEU website at www.opseu.org/LBEDbargaining. And be sure to attend upcoming bargaining information meetings in your area.