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Municipally Speaking newsletter – Spring 2019

OPSEU Sector 13. Municipalities.

Message from the President: Ford meddles in municipalities

Premier Doug Ford wasted no time after election day in doing what he does best: Trying to fix things that ain’t broke and sowing chaos and confusion.

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His first target was a municipality: the City of Toronto. Smack-dab in the middle of an election, he slashed the number of councillors by half, even threatening to trample on the highest law in the land: the Constitution.

What he passed off as “efficiency” many others more accurately recognized as bitter revenge.

Then he foisted private cannabis shops on municipalities, denying them the opportunity of responsible, public sales through the LCBO – while eliminating caps on the number of pot shops that can open and allowing them within 150 metres of schools.

Then Ford announced he would “review” 82 municipalities within eight regional governments. If the promised consultation is anything like the consultation done on cannabis, free speech on campuses, Ontario Health and, now, the OPS and BPS, we can expect more backroom deals with cronies and developers than any genuine dialogue with municipal stakeholders and concerned residents.

OPSEU will be keeping an eye on developments affecting municipalities – and translating government double-talk into real words with real consequences for real people. Because while Ford can fool some of the people some of the time, he can’t fool anyone at OPSEU – not now, not ever.

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas President
Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Join us at Convention 2019!

OPSEU’s annual Convention will be held Thursday, May 23 to Saturday, May 25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Convention is our union’s highest-ranking authority, where delegates debate and vote on policy and constitutional motions. Some 2,000 delegates, alternates, observers and guests are expected to attend this year.

There will be a Sector 13 meeting on Thursday, May 23 after the close of business. Please refer to the Convention agenda booklet for the location. We encourage all sector members to come and find out what we have been working on.

Ford government launches municipal review

We have been keeping a close eye on the Ford government’s municipal review and are preparing to voice our concerns, should there be any negative effects. We will be posting up-to-date information as we get it on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

The following municipalities are being reviewed: Muskoka District, including Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Georgian Bay, Lake of Bays and Muskoka Lakes; and Midland, Simcoe County and Halton Region.

These municipalities may be directly affected by proposed changes to reduce the two-tiered system. We strongly encourage members in these municipalities to provide feedback. Additional information can be found in the government press release.

What’s happening in Sector 13 bargaining?

Nine units in our sector are in bargaining or preparing to bargain. Below you will find some recent sector settlements that have been achieved.

Local 123: Corporation of the Township of St. Clair

  • Three-year deal
  • General wage increases of $0.85, $0.65 and $0.65
  • Medical cannabis (by prescription only) added to paramedical benefits, with a maximum up to $1,500 annually
  • Increased meal allowance to $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $25 dinner
  • New sick-leave language

Local 259: Grand River Conservation Authority

  • Four-year renewal agreement, effective January 1, 2018
  • General wage increase: 1.75 per cent, 1.5 per cent, 1.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent
  • Safety boots/shoes increased from $300 to $500
  • Paid holidays that formally applied only to full-time workers now apply to part-time, temporary full-time and casual
  • Full-time sick credits improved and now based on 42 hours (seven days)
  • Seasonal must now complete just one week (formerly, they had to work three months for three sick days)
  • Personal days increased from one to two and designated as personal emergency leave (PEL)
  • New no-contracting-out language of present work or services that result in layoffs

Local 324: District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration – full-time and part-time

  • Five-year renewal agreement, effective January 1, 2019
  • General wage increase: 2 per cent, 1.75 per cent, 1.75 per cent, 2 per cent and 2 per cent
  • Vision care plan increased to $400
  • Mileage allowance 52 cents per kilometre
  • New wellness plan language
  • New health and safety language
  • Improved sick-leave language

Sector bargaining conference is in the works

Your sector executive is planning our second bargaining conference for 2020. The conference will provide attendees with the tools, data and strategies on how to negotiate better collective agreements for the members in their units by sharing superior language provisions.

We want your feedback on the bargaining conference! Please click on the survey monkey link and give us your feedback before May 12, 2019.

***Save the date: BPS conference on Friday, November 15, with a divisional meeting on the 16th and 17th at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

Sector 13 Divisional Executive

Tara Langford

Theresa O’Connor

Dwayne Ebbers

Pam Schmidt

Kerri Wells