MPAC workers deliver real value
OPSEU members at MPAC will be holding information pickets across the province this Thursday to remind the employer that “we deliver real value.” The 1,400 OPSEU members at the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation are trained professionals who make sure that every property in Ontario is valued correctly. Every four years, these workers carefully assess the value of more than five million properties across the province.
Members across Ontario show how they feel in picket sign contests ahead of Thursday’s information picket.
What happened to fair value?
Unfortunately, while we know the meaning of fair value, our employer seems to have forgotten.
Our members are facing an employer that doesn’t seem to understand the value of good work. Frontline workers across the province who do these important assessments are being asked to accept a deal that is completely out of line with the standard set by other municipal contracts.
The employer’s demands at the table don’t stop there. While pushing to keep frontline wages low, the employer is also trying to force long-serving former Ontario Public Service (OPS) employees at MPAC to pay half the cost of their post-retirement health benefits, and force new accreditation rules on workers.
Your OPSEU bargaining team wants a fair collective agreement, not a strike, and we will continue to fight for a deal that offers fair value for the work that MPAC workers do every day. With bargaining continuing on June 15 and 16, I hope to see all members out at an information picket this Thursday to show your support for the bargaining team.
Jeff Thompson, Local 322 President, and his son made morale-building a family affair
OPSEU President contacts 3,000 municipal councillors about MPAC negotiations
To bring municipal representatives up to date on the upcoming strike deadline, Warren (Smokey) Thomas sent a letter Wednesday to 3000 municipal councillors across Ontario. In the letter, he pointed out the real value provided to municipalities and municipal ratepayers by OPSEU members working at MPAC.
He also identified the ongoing struggle to get the employer to recognize that value with a wage increase that is in line with the standard set by other municipal contracts. He let them know that OPSEU is committed to bargaining for a fair deal, not a work stoppage, but that a strike deadline has been set for 12:01 on June 17. For those who are concerned, he encouraged them to get in touch with Antoni Wisniowski at MPAC to urge him to reach a settlement that reflects the value that MPAC employees provide to municipalities every day.
OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer writes to IMA conference requesting deadline extension
Many members are concerned about the upcoming Institute of Municipal Assessors (IMA) conference registration deadline, as it falls before the strike deadline on June 17. This conference is a work assignment, and should not be attended in the case of a strike or lockout.
In order to avoid difficulties in cancelling registrations, Eduardo Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer for OPSEU, wrote to the IMA this week to request an extension of the cancellation deadline to June 17 for MPAC workers. Additional information on what members should do about their registration will be provided once a response is received.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Four of the top ten Sunshine List managers have seen wage increases of 14-24 per cent over the past two years. Others, through changes in job titles or duties have seen even larger increases. At the same time, OPSEU members at MPAC are being asked to take just 1.5 per cent over the next three years.
We’re experts in measuring value – and it’s pretty clear that something just doesn’t measure up here.
Updated strike information Q&A now available online
Want to know more about what happens once we hit the strike deadline on June 17? With the upcoming strike deadline, an updated set of answers to common questions have been posted online at: opseu.org/mpac-2015-2016-bargaining-index. These answers cover questions related to strike pay and duties, impacts of a strike or lockout on benefits and pensions, and what the potential impacts are maternity, vacation, and sick leave. Have a question that isn’t addressed here? Contact your office’s bargaining team contact.