Your Correctional Bargaining Team met for 3 weeks in Toronto to retool our proposals to reflect the change in the bargaining landscape. We completed a comprehensive list of proposals that reflect the demands of the Corrections Division as outlined in the demand set without the constraints of Bill 124.
As reported in Lock Talk 11, following the court decision on November 29, 2022 that deemed Bill 124 unconstitutional and “void and of no effect”, the Correctional Bargaining Team served written notice to the Employer that we expected them to return to the bargaining table. The Employer finally responded on March 1, 2023, nearly a month after we had sent the letter.
The Employer stated they had no appetite to bargain. Instead, they proposed moving directly to mediation with arbitrator Kaplan on April 13th and 14th and would only agree to mediate monetary proposals. To be clear, the Employer has yet to present your Bargaining Team with any proposals that were not subject to the limitations imposed by Bill 124.
After consultation with our arbitration lawyers Nini Jones and Lauren Pearce, your Bargaining Team responded to the Employer’s position, expressing our interest in engaging in real and unrestricted bargaining at the table. The Team laid out a path forward to the Employer which entailed an exchange of comprehensive proposals and new monetary proposals that reflect the reality of a bargaining landscape without the restrictions that had been imposed on bargaining teams under Bill 124 .
On March 14th, the Employer again rejected our proposal to engage in bargaining and insisted they would only engage in mediation. Although frustrated that the Employer continues to refuse to engage in meaningful bargaining, upon consultation with our lawyers, the Team has elected to re-engage in mediation. This means that instead of proceeding to interest arbitration on April 13th and 14th we will now be engaging in mediation with arbitrator William Kaplan on those dates.
Should we be unable to negotiate a collective agreement through mediation, we will begin arbitration on July 25th, a date that we already have booked with arbitrator Kaplan.
The Employer has repeatedly stated that they wish to engage in meaningful bargaining to negotiate a contract, but their actions thus far have indicated the opposite. Now is the time for the Employer to step up and engage in real dialogue. Your Team remains committed to achieving real gains during this round of bargaining.
If you have any questions, please forward them to your Correctional Bargaining Team at CorrectionsOPSBargaining@opseu.org.
Janet Laverty, Bargaining Team Chair
Adam Cygler, Bargaining Team Vice-Chair