To all OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546 TSSA safety inspectors:
Well done on a successful first day of the strike for safety! The show of solidarity from everyone today sent a strong message to the TSSA that we stand united and focused on achieving a fair deal.
The TSSA has spread misinformation of what was in their latest offer in their email to all safety inspectors earlier. Regular communication is important to maintain solidarity in this upcoming strike for a fair agreement, so we want you to know the full picture of what was presented to your bargaining team before the TSSA left the bargaining table yesterday.
Overtime working on Stat holidays – The TSSA proposed 1.5X pay; however, the current Policy is 2x pay. When the bargaining team pointed out this discrepancy to the employer, they indicated that this was an “oversight”.
Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve half day shutdown – The current Policy provides half day shutdown on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The TSSA did not agree to this.
Flexible scheduling – The bargaining team asked for flexible scheduling as per current Policy. The TSSA was ‘unaware’ that they had a flexible scheduling Policy. The bargaining team had to show the employer that they had a Policy on flexible scheduling. The TSSA did not agree to this.
Definition of full-time and part-time – The bargaining team proposed that the definition of a full-time inspector is one who works more than 20 hours and a part-time inspector is anything less than full-time hours. The TSSA wants full-time to be classified as working 40 hours and part-time as anything less than working 40 hours. This means that if a full-time inspector works less than 40 hours (i.e. 39 hours) they may be classified as part-time and may be ineligible for benefits. The TSSA did not agree to this.
Vacation – The bargaining team proposed no cap on vacation usage and the ability to carry over 10 vacation days as per current Policy. The TSSA wants to put a two week cap on vacation time and have no ability to carry over vacation days which is inconsistent with the current Policies.
The TSSA indicated that they want employees to take their vacation for health reasons but the bargaining team pointed out that placing a cap on vacation will not contribute to the health and wellbeing of employees. Their messaging is inconsistent. The TSSA did not agree to this.
Sick Leave and Benefits Coverage – The bargaining team proposed benefit increases to paramedical and vision care (which have been the same for approximately 25 years). The employer did not agree to this.
As per current Policy, benefits and STD premiums is 100% paid for the employer and LTD is 100% paid for by employees. The employer does not want to agree to this language. Why not? The employer will only confirm that benefits, STD and LTD benefits “will be as good or as better”.
The bargaining team is suspicious of the employer’s intentions because this means that if there are any cost increases to the benefit and STD insurance premiums the employer may have the ability to make employees pay for part of the benefit and STD insurance premiums if they want to maintain the same or better benefits.
LTD premiums have increased approximately 25% for employees and the Union asked that employees have input in the decision making process prior to any changes taking place for LTD benefits because employee’s are paying for it. The employer did not agree to this. Also, this gives the employer the ability to save money by negotiating lower cost for a benefit and STD plan at the expense of employees paying a higher LTD plan premium.
Wage Grid – The bargaining team proposed a 6-step salary wage grid with a salary increase at each step, including movement through the wage grid on each anniversary date. The TSSA wants a 14-step salary wage grid and movement through the salary wage grid tied to an inspector’s performance appraisal, which can be arbitrary and based on the Supervisor of the day.
This means that the TSSA wants to have the ability to prevent employees from moving through the 14-step salary wage grid, which will already take you a minimum of fourteen years to reach the top of the salary wage grid. There are employees who have been with TSSA for approximately 20 years and haven’t yet reached the maximum salary rate.
The TSSA’s wage grid proposal excludes Liquid Fuels Inspectors who will get paid less. In addition, the employer wants the ability to place a newly hired Inspector anywhere on the wage grid which would allow someone to have a higher salary than a more senior Inspector.
Independent Medical Examinations (IME) – The TSSA wants the ability to send an employee for an IME examination. This means that an employee will have to attend to the employer’s medical doctor(s) who will request and get access to your personal medical information/file from your doctor. The bargaining team is not in agreement.
Union Leave – The employer’s proposals are designed to severely limit the capabilities and proper representation of our members in dealing with members grievances, including termination grievances. Justice delayed is justice denied.
The Employer only wants to pay you retro payment for wages only from May 1, 2022. The bargaining team proposed retro payment for wages from the date of certification 2021. The TSSA did not agree to this.
The TSSA wants you to believe that they are bargaining in “good faith”; however, while the bargaining team was at mediation with the TSSA yesterday, the employer sent out a notice to Inspectors regarding the return of company vehicles. Why would the TSSA send this email to employees if they were bargaining in “good faith” to reach a deal?
When we began this process, you identified your key priorities and gave the bargaining team a strong mandate to work towards a fair agreement for TSSA safety inspectors from all programs. We remain committed to achieving an agreement that meets the needs of the membership.
Tomorrow, we continue the strike for safety to demand that the TSSA get back to the bargaining table to negotiate fairly! Enough of the stonewalling, intimidation, and manipulation. We all deserve respect and we deserve a fair collective agreement.
Your bargaining team – Cory, Doug and Leo