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Ontario Public Service

Ontario Public Service: Court Reporters June 24 2011 update

Court Reporters win… again!

The fight to gain full and fair compensation for the work of Court Reporters continues.  On the arbitration front the Hunt decision is one decisive moment.

Now, OPSEU Court Reports have scored another victory in this campaign.  In this case an attempt by the employer to take away member rights to grieve was defeated.

Through a motion presented to Vice Chair Abramsky (in Hollingsworth et al) the government, once again tried to dismiss Court Reporters’ grievances regarding current working conditions and changes in practices in various courthouses.

In a decision issued June 21, 2011 by the Grievance Settlement Board (GSB), Vice Chair Abramsky confirmed that Court Reporters currently have the right to grieve when the Collective Agreement is not applied to transcript production.  This is a critical right given that the Employer has yet to comply with the Hunt decision.

Vice Chair Abramsky commented that, “It is significant in my view, that the Employer has not made any changes in regard to transcript production since the July 27, 2006 decision in Hunt in regard to transcript production—almost five years ago.” She further states, “It is, therefore, not surprising that new individual grievances have been filed alleging that the Employer has failed to comply with the collective agreement in regard to transcript production.”

In the final paragraph of the decision Abramsky states, “The Employer asserts that allowing these grievances to proceed is an abuse of process. I cannot agree. These matters arise long after the decision in Hunt. They arise from the fact that the Employer has still not complied with the decision in Hunt. They create no abuse of process.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas notes that, “The right for workers to grieve is a critical part of the union’s enforcement ability so the only abuse I can see is this flagrant employer attempt to strip away this right from Court Reporters.”

Smokey also states that, “The government can count on the fact that OPSEU will continue to fully support Court Reporters in the fight to achieve full and fair compensation for their important work.”

Court Reporters are reminded to please continue keeping a record of all hours worked in the preparation and certification of transcripts.

For additional information on the decision please contact Marg Simmons at msimmons@opseu.org  or 1-800-268-7376.