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Central Bargaining News


Developmentally SpeakingA newsletter for and by OPSEU Developmental Services Sector members

Central Bargaining News

The sector has been pursuing coordinated bargaining with a view to moving towards central bargaining. The government has shown interest in discussing an alternative bargaining model and initiated meetings with unions and employers to explore an alternative bargaining model.   


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In March, the Ministry of Labour contacted OASIS, CUPE, OPSEU and the Ministry of Community and Social Services to facilitate discussions between the parties regarding the concept of an alternative bargaining model for the Developmental Services sector. Understandably, all parties made it clear that any discussions would need to be exploratory and not binding on any party. Accordingly, "parameters for discussions" have been developed and endorsed by the parties.  The intent of the discussion is to develop a model to be brought back to the sector for consideration. The discussions are not binding on any party.


"Developmental Services Bargaining Conference" – November 18, 2010

There will be a full presentation of the above discussions.  We will also provide a report back from the employer forum that OPSEU is co-hosting with CUPE.

All locals are asked to make every effort to attend this important sector leadership meeting.

If you have any questions please contact: Sue Walker,  (cell):289-260-5915


"Developmental Services Provincial Network Meeting" – October 13, 2010

OPSEU and CUPE will be hosting a central bargaining forum for employers.  This forum was initiated as a result of  some locals negotiating a Letter of Understanding to hold an employer forum.

Please Note: As this is an "employer forum" we will be sending our respective sector executive committees and a few key staff. It is important we encourage all our employers to attend. We will be talking about how we can strengthen our voice as a sector.

Developmental Services — Ontario

Bargaining Model – Parameters for Discussion – August 2010

There is a commitment from all parties to support the Developmental Service Sector in strengthening the important services it delivers and to make working in the sector a "career of choice".  To this end, the Ministry of Labour facilitated a discussion between the parties listed below regarding the concept of an alternative bargaining model.

This document has been developed to set out the parameters for exploratory discussions related to developing a central bargaining model.  The intent of the discussion is to develop a model to be brought back to the sector for consideration.  It is understood that the discussions are not binding on any party.

PARTIES TO THE DISCUSSION:  OASIS, CUPE & OPSEU, Ministry of Community and Social Services


Openness to explore a central bargaining model. The ongoing discussion and any proposed model developed for consideration will not be binding on any party unless agreed to. In the event an alternative bargaining model is developed each agency and the local has the right to decide if they jointly opt-in to the alternative bargaining model once it is finalized.  Both parties to a collective agreement must opt-in in order to participate in the central bargaining model process. The process is about strengthening and building — moving forward and creating HR capacity in the sector. 

No agency or local can lose current entitlements by engaging in this process.

Components to any model:  Mandatory vs. Voluntary (discussion to proceed as a voluntary model)

Structure of model:  Who is at the table, Central vs. Local issues, Bargaining protocol & timeframes

Establishment of a mechanism, such as a joint committee, to explore issues identified at a central table which require further research (i.e. compensation and/or working conditions).

Role of the Ministry of Community and Social Services as funder, in any model, needs to be clear.

The issues of picketing & labour unrest are recognized as issues which will be discussed.

Parties to consider option of including other bargaining agents and the respective employers.

Any model developed must be durable and sustainable.


Stability in sector

Coordination through transformation

Incremental improvement in wages/working conditions

Ministry engaged in process — role to be determined once established, better use of resources