Bargaining news for OPSEU members in the Hospital Professionals Division
Here’s what’s in the tentative agreement
On May 29, 2016 your OPSEU Hospital Professionals bargaining team reached a new tentative collective agreement with the Participating Hospitals. The new agreement covers 12,000 workers at 52 hospitals that participate in central bargaining. Ratification votes will be held on or before June 30 and your team is unanimously recommending that members accept the deal.
The collective agreement will run for a term of three years. Here are the highlights:
1. Wage Increase
Under the new contract, you can look forward to an across-the-board wage increase on April 1 in the second and third years of the term. In the first year, any wage increases and/or lump sums for the period between April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 will match those awarded to the Ontario Nurses’ Association once its bargaining is complete.
- Effective April 1, 2016 (same as ONA)
- Effective April 1, 2017 1.4 per cent wage increase
- Effective April 1, 2018 1.4 per cent wage increase
2. Shift Premiums increase
We know the sacrifices that go along with doing shift work.With this view in mind, your bargaining team was able to secure an increase in shift premiums to reflect the negative impact of shift work on workers’ lives.The increases are as follows:
- Effective June 30, 2016, the Evening Premium goes up by $0.10 from $1.80 to $1.90.
- Effective April 1, 2018, it increases by $0.05 to $1.95.
- Effective June 30, 2016, the Night Premium goes up by $0.10 from $2.20 to $2.30.
- Effective April 1, 2018, it increases by $0.05 to $2.35.
3. Weekend Premiums also increase
There was also a $0.10 increase in premiums for working weekends. The premium will go up to $2.45 from $2.35, effective June 30, 2016. On April 1, 2018, the premium will increase by a further $0.05 to $2.50.
4. Vacation Entitlement
Vacation entitlements will come into effect one year earlier for long service employees. Under the new agreement, employees will be entitled to five weeks of vacation after 12 years of service, 6 weeks’ vacation after 21 years, and 7 weeks’ vacation after 27 years.
5. Improvement to vision care
The new contract will see vision care coverage increase by $50. Employees will receive a benefit of $350 in vision care, up from the previous allowance of $300.
6. More vacation flexibility for part-time staff
The new contract will give part-time staff the option of using their unpaid vacation entitlement in individual days, if the local union and the employer agree. This will allow for greater flexibility in the scheduling of vacation for part-time employees.
7. New central process re: job changes
Under the new agreement there will be a new central process that can be used to address changes to job content for central classifications.This process can be engaged, for example, when an employee alleges there has been a substantial change to his/her job content.
8. Bereavement leave and vacation
In the unfortunate event that a death in the family occurs while an employee is on vacation, the employee will be placed on bereavement leave under the new deal.The employee will have his/her vacation credited back if supporting evidence is provided.
9. Change to Grievance Procedure
The timelines in the grievance procedure have been extended from seven to nine days, to allow additional time for processing.This means that you will now have nine days from the time of an event to discuss an issue with your immediate supervisor.If there is no settlement within nine calendar days, a grievance can be filed within nine more days.
10. Vacation pay during pregnancy and parental leave
Employees who take pregnancy and/or parental leave will receive vacation pay based on a percentage of her or his gross salary for work performed during the vacation year as follows:
- 3-week entitlement paid out at 6 per cent of gross salary
- 4-week entitlement paid out at 8 per cent of gross salary
- 5-week entitlement paid out at 10 per cent of gross salary
- 6-week entitlement paid out at 12 per cent of gross salary
- 7-week entitlement paid out at 14 per cent of gross salary
11. Update to Innovative/Flexible Scheduling
We continue to exercise caution when it comes to Innovative or Flexible schedules, specifically around short shifts (Article 29.02). This type of scheduling can include working shifts of less than seven-and-a-half hours, but not less than four hours.
Under the new deal, these types of agreements cannot be unreasonably withheld or denied. A meeting will have to take place within seven calendar days of a written proposal to the union regarding the short shift. If the union does not agree, it will have to provide its reasons in writing to the hospital within 21 days.
12. New Letter of Understanding on short shifts
OPSEU will send a letter to the Chief Negotiations Officer of the Ontario Hospital Association on the issue of short shifts. The letter will state that the union has committed to communicate with and educate locals that due consideration will be given to requests for short shifts and that it is understood that the hospitals may grieve an unreasonable refusal.
13. Casual staff and leaves of absence
The new collective agreement will reflect that casual staff are generally entitled to leaves provided in the Employment Standards Act. Some examples of the types of leaves that will be available to casual staff include: pregnancy and parental leave, family medical leave, military reservist leave and organ donor leave.
14. Change to no discrimination clause
The no discrimination clause has been amended to be more inclusive and reflect the recent changes to the Ontario Human Rights Code. The words gender identity and gender expression have been added to Article 3.02. Under the new contract the article will be changed to:
It is agreed that there will be no discrimination or harassment by either party or by any of the employees covered by this Agreement on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, creed, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, same-sex partnership status, family status or disability or any other factor which is not pertinent to the employment relationship.
15. Changes take effect on ratification
All new language and improvements will be in effect as of the date of ratification unless otherwise stated.
Your bargaining team also made additional revisions to language throughout the Collective Agreement. These changes are “housekeeping” in nature, i.e., they deal with spelling and grammar.
If you have any questions prior to your ratification vote, please contact the Chair of the OPSEU Central Bargaining team, Sandi Blancher, at firstname.lastname@example.org.