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OPS Issue Sheet #1 – The 12 Step Wage Grid: LESS cash…for life

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The employer proposal for a 12 step wage grid, which would replace the current wage grid structure, will have a massive long-term impact on your earnings. With a new start rate of five per cent BELOW the current start rate, this is not only a punishment for new workers but also any member who changes careers within the OPS.

The reality is that over the span of the 12 steps, employees could lose up to one whole year of earnings.

Based on the examples of the new grids provided by the employer, here’s an example of what can happen to two positions – an OAD8 and a Systems Officer 4. A new OAD8 would lose more than $30,700 and the Systems Officer 4 would lose more than $68,500 over the 11 years of the new grid. This would also reduce the value of an employee's pension.

The biggest hits on employees in this proposal actually occur in the middle of the grid where an OAD8 would lose over $4,300 in a single year at Step 7. Similarly the System Officer 4 would lose $10,500 in just one year at Step 7. These impacts are even steeper for positions that currently have less than seven steps.

This concession goes far beyond the proposed length of the contract. Money lost now is money you never recover. It will hurt you now, and keep hurting you for life.

The bottom line: If you are at any place in the grid other than the top, you suffer. If you are planning a change in your career, you suffer. If you are converted to full time, or just started your career, you really suffer.

The numbers:

Hourly earnings for an OAD 8:

Step 1 – $21.33 instead of $22.45

Step 2 – $21.73 instead of $23.14

Step 3 – $22.12 instead of $23.62

Step 4 – $22.53 instead of $24.17

Step 5 – $22.95 instead of $24.74;

Step 6 – $23.37 instead of $25.32;

Step 7 – $23.81 instead of $26.09,

Step 8 – $24.25 instead of $26.09;

Step 9 – $24.69 instead of $26.09;

Step 10 – $25.15 instead of $26.09;

Step 11 – $25.62 instead of $26.09

Step 12 – the current maximum of $26.09

Weekly earnings for a System Officer 4:

Step 1 – $1197.96 instead of $1261.01

Step 2 – $1230.71 instead of $1300.01

Step 3 – $1264.35 instead of $1358.90

Step 4 – $1298.91 instead of $1422.82

Step 5 – $1334.41 instead of $1488.03

Step 6 – $1370.89 instead of $1564.73

Step 7 – $1408.36 instead of $1611.66

Step 8 – $1446.86 instead of $1611.66

Step 9 – $1486.41 instead of $1611.66

Step 10 – $1527.04 instead of $1611.66

Step 11 – $1568.78 instead of $1611.66

Step 12 – the current maximum of $1611.66

Original authorized for distribution:

Roxanne Barnes, Chair, Central/Unified Team

Tom O’Neill, Chair, Corrections Team

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Related: OPS Bargaining 2014 Index Page