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Human rights case heads to arbitration – 2017 LBED Bargaining Bulletin, Issue 2

Members of the 2017 LBED Bargaining Team pose in front of an OPSEU We Own It! banner
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Human rights case heads to arbitration

The OPSEU human rights case on “equal pay for equal work” is heading to arbitration.

As mentioned in our last bargaining bulletin on December 16, the recent settlement of a 2013 human rights case means retail casuals at the LCBO will be moving to a new pay grid. All retail casuals will soon be able to reach the top rate for full-time Customer Service Representatives (CSRs).

Your OPSEU bargaining team met with the employer to try to iron out the details on December 2, 5, and 9, and from January 24 to 27. Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to come to an agreement through these negotiations.

Both sides had agreed that, if we weren’t able to come to agreement, we would go through a process of mediation and then arbitration, where a sole arbitrator would hear arguments from both sides and then make a binding decision. We went into mediation on February 1 and 2, followed by arbitration with arbitrator William Kaplan on February 4.

Your team stood firm for the rights of all LCBO workers throughout these negotiations. We made it clear that any agreement needed to address the issues that led to the complaint being filed and implement the principle of equal pay for equal work that the law requires.

We are now waiting for the arbitrator’s decision, which will happen within the next two weeks. We will provide further information to all LBED members as soon as the arbitrator has ruled.

Contract bargaining starts the week of February 20

While we wait for the arbitrator’s ruling on the human rights settlement, your LBED bargaining team is hard at work preparing for the upcoming round of bargaining. The current collective agreement will expire on March 31, 2017, and negotiations between the LCBO and your bargaining team will begin the week of February 20.

“While the settlement of our human rights complaint will address a significant and long-standing issue for casual workers, we still face other struggles around working conditions for all workers,” said Denise Davis, chair of the LBED bargaining team. “At the same time, we are very aware of the threat to the LCBO posed by Premier Wynne’s privatization of alcohol sales through the expansion of beer and wine sales in grocery stores.”

Ensuring security for LCBO workers, and increasing public recognition of the value we provide to the province, will be key issues in the upcoming round of bargaining. Success at the table will come as a result of the hard work of all LBED members as bargaining moves ahead.

“We’ll be asking for support from across the province,” said Davis. “We know members are the best ones to tell the public about the risks of privatization, and the value they provide. They’re the ones who understand the importance of the work they do each and every day.”

Pay-in-lieu settlement an improvement for casuals

In Echo 51, published December 19, 2014, we asked casual members to file grievances concerning the calculation of pay in lieu of holidays, benefits and vacation. If you recall, the union believed that the LCBO had failed to calculate casual members’ pay-in-lieu correctly. We wanted to fix this error by filing a policy grievance on the issue and asking you to file individual grievances.

And file individual grievances you did!

In total, we received over 400 grievances on this issue from individual members.

I am happy to announce that OPSEU and the LCBO have reached a settlement in this matter. Specifically, the parties have agreed that, beginning February 1, 2017, “gross pay” with respect to in-lieu payments shall be calculated to include premiums earned on Sundays; for authorized work on a holiday; when acting for the store manager; for working on the night shift; and for working overtime.

The LCBO will also provide retroactive pay to compensate all casual employees for in lieu payments for the period of August 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017 where the gross pay for those payments did not take into consideration the premiums earned as outlined above. You can expect to receive this retroactive payment in February.

We thank you for your activism on this matter. Without your grievances, we could not have achieved this settlement.

In solidarity,

Denise Davis, Chair, LBED Divisional Executive
Jennifer van Zetten, Vice-Chair, LBED Divisional Executive

Meet your bargaining team

The OPSEU bargaining for the Liquor Board Employees Division consists of five members:

Denise Davis, Chair, Local 378
Colleen MacLeod, Vice-Chair, Local 5107
Jennifer Van Zetten, Local 162
Robin Reath, Local 163
Mark Larocque, Local 499

The bargaining team is assisted by OPSEU Negotiator Jeff Weston, Researcher Steve Crossman, and other assigned staff.

Meet your mobilizers

OPSEU mobilizers are your co-workers at the LCBO. Their job is to help keep you informed of what happens at the bargaining table, and how you can support the bargaining team as they work to get you the best collective agreement possible.

LBED members have elected mobilizers in each of the seven OPSEU regions:

Guy Jeremschuk, Local 162
Bonnie Jolley, Local 284
Tracy Vyfschaft, Local 377
Dianne Perry, Local 497
Craig Hadley, Local 5109
Amanda Pellerin, Local 682
Rob Mithrush, Local 741

Stay informed!

You can receive this bargaining bulletin (and our regular newsletter, the Echo) directly by e-mail. Just call OPSEU at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888, and give the operator your name and e-mail address. You can also watch for updates on the OPSEU website at www.opseu.org. And be sure to attend upcoming bargaining information meetings in your area.

EAP Hotline: 1-800-263-1401

The LCBO Employee Assistance Program is a confidential, hassle-free counseling service for eligible LCBO employees and their immediate families. For assistance, call 1-800-263-1401.

Your 2017 Bargaining Bulletin is authorized for distribution by:

Denise Davis, Chair, Liquor Board Employees Division
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, OPSEU

Download copy of the Bargaining Bulletin