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LockTalk #17: Calling out the employer’s disrespectful delay tactics in bargaining

Tomorrow (July 25), the Correctional Bargaining Team is asking all members to join the first phase of the Respect Corrections campaign by wearing a sticker with the word “Respect” during their shift. We encourage all members to find a member of their local union executive to get a respect sticker, or to print off a copy here and display it at your workstation.

Pictures from tomorrow can be emailed to the Correctional Bargaining Team at correctionsOPSBargaining@opseu.org .

We chose tomorrow as the first day of the Respect Corrections campaign as that’s when we were supposed to be making legal arguments in final binding arbitration. Despite this date being set nine months ago, the employer recently announced that they would not be ready to proceed. This has unnecessarily delayed the bargaining process until the end of November – all while we continue work during a period of record high inflation without a raise since our contract expired in December 2021. We have heard from many members across the province who are feeling anger and disappointment at the employer’s tactics at the bargaining table.

We hear over and over from the employer that we – the Ministries’ employees – are their most valuable resource. Yet when it comes to one of the most important aspects of labour relations, negotiating our contract, the employer continues to show up unprepared. What a display of utter contempt and disrespect!

We continued to show up to work during COVID, putting our health on the line to keep the Ontario public safe. We continue to work in understaffed institutions, facilities, and offices, with recruitment and retention issues that complicate already challenging working conditions. Instead of showing up to bargain, the employer has delayed any compensation and benefit changes another 4 months!

The Respect Corrections campaign is being launched to ensure that the employer knows we will not accept anything less than respect for the work we do. Our message is clear – the employer needs to show up prepared for arbitration in November. We will not accept anything less.

The Bargaining Team is asking members not to engage in work slowdowns or work to rule, as this could be interpreted as an illegal strike and could negatively impact the arbitration process.

Thank you for your continued support of the Correctional Bargaining Team.

In solidarity,

Janet Laverty, Bargaining Team Chair
Adam Cygler, Bargaining Team Vice-Chair