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Message to OPS members: Vote yes

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There is still time for OPS Unified members to vote on the tentative agreement reached with the provincial government last month, and we urge you to vote yes. You can cast your vote until 8 p.m., Wednesday, January 26.

This deal was difficult to achieve, given the harsh realities of Bill 124 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bargaining is a delicate process at the best of times, and a rejection of this offer could bring catastrophic consequences. We could lose many of the gains that took your bargaining team long hours to persuade the employer to agree to.

We are aware of a tiny but vocal minority who are trying to persuade you to reject this deal by suggesting there are more gains to be had by going back to the bargaining table.

This is an extremely naïve and a very risky approach – one more likely to backfire, and backfire badly. It’s about as prudent as spending all of your savings on one lottery draw.

OPSEU/SEFPO and other provincial unions are challenging Bill 124 in the courts, and we have every reason to be hopeful it will eventually be overturned. Your tentative agreement contains a wage reopener clause. This is the best chance to eventually secure a larger pay increase.

It’s nice to daydream sometimes, but in the kind of high stakes bargaining that we’ve just gone through, we have to deal in reality, not fantasy.

The smart and prudent course of action is to accept this tentative contract.

OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Coleen Houlder, chair, OPS Unified bargaining team