OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division (HPD) pay equity team is made up of the following member representatives: Sandi Blancher (Local 106), Betty Palmieri (Local 206), Susan Head (Local 464), Peggy Burke (Local 662) and Bryan Mitchell (Local 570).
The employer team is made up of the following representatives from the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA): Clarence Willms, Angela Hodgson, Maria Faulkner and Sadia Bekri.
What’s been happening?
Over the past number of years, we have been working with the OHA team to reach resolution and finalize a new pay equity plan for the Central HPD Bargaining Division.
We are almost there, but not quite.
The union and the OHA have reached an impasse, unable to agree which male job class is the proper male comparator for the female job classes in three of the 11 bands.
The union team believes our position is correct, and that a more representative male job class is required than the one the OHA team is proposing. We feel our choices are more proper and readily available comparators than some of the positions the OHA wants to use. This is why we cannot come to an agreement.
What are next steps?
The terms of reference for the pay equity committee outline two ways a dispute between the parties can be resolved.
The first option is to file a formal complaint with the Pay Equity Commission and have it resolve the matter. The second is to have a mutually agreed-upon arbitrator hear the case and make a binding decision to resolve the outstanding issues.
The OHA and OPSEU have decided to refer the matter to the Pay Equity Commission to rule on the male comparators. Both parties have engaged legal counsel to represent them at the Commission and will be submitting briefs on their own outstanding issues.
Along with the outstanding issues regarding male comparators, the union is also looking to the Commission to approve/endorse the rest of the agreed-upon items of your pay equity plan.
Once the plan has been approved and the outstanding issues have been resolved, all that will be left is to calculate any financial liability owing during the period 2002-09 covered by the pay equity plan.
Rest assured you will be updated as soon as we have a ruling from the Commission that finalizes the plan.
We’re looking out for you
Thank you for your patience during this process; I know it has been a long road. Your pay equity team has always had the best interests of you, the members, at the forefront of every decision we have made. This includes fighting out these last outstanding issues to get the best possible result.
You can be confident this pay equity plan will have gone through all the checks and balances, and will be a great tool for all HPD workplaces to use in their efforts to bargain and maintain pay equity.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU
Sara Labelle, Chair, Hospital Professionals Division
Sandi Blancher, Chair, HPD Pay Equity Team