The past two years have gone by very quickly! As your chair I have spent an average of 40 – 50 days per year attending meetings in Toronto and area. At times it has been a challenge to juggle the demands of this position. Despite the demanding work I consider it a privilege to be your Chair. I thank you for your continued support.
Meetings with Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Society (OACAS) have proven to be fruitful toward building a cooperative and communicative relationship. One major contribution from OPSEU was the SIS system review, compiled by my visits to OPSEU work sites and interviews with frontline staff. The findings were presented to OACAS. Our results varied from their own review of the SIS system. OACAS accepted our review, and are accepting many of the comments from our workers about system issues. We have come a long way in working collaboratively with OACAS over the past couple of years.
Our participation in the Community Services Division has been very effective. Working through the Violence in the Workplace Campaign, profiling sectors that need organizing and the TOPPS pension plan have been highlights.
Our involvement in the Broader Public Sector (BPS) All Chairs has also been effective. The BPS conference has been a major project of the All Chairs.
The CAS Executive directed the Chair to write a pre budget submission to the Minister of Finance, which was well received. We were one of two sectors within OPSEU that submitted a such a report. Working with the Child Advocate’s office is ongoing. A very supportive and reciprocal relationship has developed between the Advocate’s office and the CAS Sector. Our next meeting with the Child Advocate is December 7, 2009.
The Leadership Days hosted by the Equity Committee have also been excellent.
Rick Pybus, Chair
Travesty in Rainy River
Due to recent announcements in Northern Ontario OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is demanding that the McGuinty government immediately reassess how the province is funding children and family services. OPSEU has learned that services in Rainy River are about to cease because the government will not provide enough funding to continue operations there. President Thomas also warns that these northern agencies are just the first in a long line of child and family services that are facing huge budget shortfalls. The Ontario Government must put children and youth first, no matter where they live in the province. Premier McGuinty must address this immediately, before an irreversible tragedy occurs.
In 2008, Convention passed a resolution mandating that OPSEU implement a plan that reflects a more representative workforce. With that resolution passed, OPSEU embarked on the Social Mapping Project. OPSEU has hired a consultant TWI Inc, to assist in the completion of the OPSEU Census. The Census initiative will collect statistics and demographics of OPSEU members and staff, to identify any barriers in policies, programs and services. This will provide invaluable information for forecasting and planning for OPSEU’s future and direction.
Please be sure to complete a census form in November.
You can Count Me In!!
Pink Shirt Day – April 14, 2010
Pink Shirt Day is Wednesday, April 14, 2010. Bullying is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes, and over the Internet.
On April 14, 2010, I encourage all of you to wear something pink to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere.
Thanks to Jane Kaija, Sector Vice-Chair who brought us Violence in the Workplace workshops. It is due in large to her hard work on this important issue, that we have now become aware of National Bullying Day. In support, our sector executive will have t-shirts for sale at the BPS Conference. Be sure to find our table Thursday and Friday mornings from 8:00 a.m.- 9:00 a.m.; during lunch breaks; and at days end.
The cost for a t-shirt is $14.00
National Bullying week is November 16 – 21 2009. Wear your pink t-shirt to bring awareness to this issue.
We look forward to seeing you there participating in your sector’s continued endeavors to make our workplaces more safe and positive places to be.
Come out and meet your executive!
You should have received your call package by now. If you have not, the forms can all be found on the OPSEU website. Your committee looks forward to seeing you at their hospitality suite on Thursday November 26th.
Come out and meet your executive! Hear about our last two years in office and our exciting plans for the next two years. We have planned an informative educational for Friday afternoon in keeping with the DNA (Developing, Networking, Advocating) theme of this year’s conference.
Join us as we learn more about our membership.
Come prepared to talk about your agency on domestic violence services; who funds it? how much time is this section of the act taking, how does your agency provide services.
Please note that Johanne Wyss-Huskinson, member-at-large, will not be joining us that afternoon. She will be making a presentation to the education sector about investigations involving allegations against teachers. In her continued efforts of networking with other sectors.
Dues are Due
Dues letters were sent out in September to locals who have not submitted their dues. According to the sector bylaws, article 5.0, member units/locals who have not paid their dues are not eligible to vote at the Divisional meeting.
Bargaining Updates Across the Sector
Local 448 – Prince Edward CAS
Term of Agreement – April 1, 2009 – March 31, 2012
Wages: 3%, 2,5%, 2.25%
Mileage Increase – $.44/km max at expiry
New – seniority credit for emergency duty workers
LOU – Workload Committee – recognition of additional classifications
L116 – London CAS
Term of Agreement – April 1, 2009 – March 31, 2012
Wages : 2.5%, 3%, 3%
Increase in Health and Safety Representation
Establishment of an Accommodation Committee
Improved Paid time off for Union Representatives
Improved Job Security language (Contracting out protection)
Improved Job Posting Language
New Cell Phone Allowance with increases in each year of the agreement
New Workload language that establishes grievable thresholds that decrease in the first two years of the contract. An immediate result of this language will be the creation of five (5) new full time jobs with an expectation for additional new jobs during the second year of the contract in order to achieve workload thresholds.
"Bullying" added to the "No discrimination" clause plus a letter of understanding defining "Bullying"
Joint Training (based on OPSEU"s Bullying Course) to be implemented and delivered to all CAS employees within 90 days of Ratification
Reduction in Co-pay from 60/40 to 70/30 for extended Health coverage – savings of up to $300 per year for many members
Improved Vision Care
Improved Orthodontic coverage
Increase from 15 weeks to 26 weeks for SEB for Maternity leave and add and include Adoption and Parental Leave coverage
Reduction in weekly hours of work (40 hrs to 37.5) for Homemaker/Family Support workers (approx 30 members) with no loss in weekly wage.
Improved Vacation for first year employees as well as members with 2-4 yrs of service. Improved Vacation for all members with 16 – 20 years of service
Local 441 – Leeds and Grenville
Term of Agreement – April 01, 2009 – March 31, 2011
Wages – 2.5%, 2.5%
2.5%, 2.5% increase for After Hours with the 5% allocated to the phone lines.
Eliminate bottom two steps on BSW,MSW grids effective April 01, 2010
Mileage increase – $.43/km with a re-opener clause at $1.25 to $.45/km
New language to clarify reimbursement when traveling to alternate place of work.
Improvements on Staff Development language
Improvements in numbers for workload language.
-Intake 10 new investigations per month
-Family Services 25 cases, 18-20 active
Add language regarding Protected Recording Times on a rotating basis.
LOU – Workload Committee
New article – 2 days compassionate leave
Include language regarding Union’s position on WSIB
LOU – regarding Anti Bullying and Agency Wide training
Local 304 – York CAS
Term April 01, 2009 – March 31, 2012
Year 1 .86 cents per hour works out to 2.2% at highest pay grade to 3.9% at the lowest pay grade
Year 2 .89 cents per hour
Year 3 .91 cents per hour
.5% has been set aside each year to deal with JJE, if not used will be added to pay grades
Improvements in vacation, dental orthotics, vision care and increase in long term bonus, paid union time off, stewards and bargaining team composition etc..
Jeanne Sauve and Kawartha Haliburton are the two remaining units at the bargaining table with 2009 expiry dates. The sector sends their support as they move through a challenging time with their agencies.