Your correctional bargaining team met again with the employer on February 4. At the meeting, the employer indicated they had significantly reduced the number of incidents they had identified at the January 21 meeting. The alleged incidents had occurred during the latest round of bargaining.
However, the employer would not agree to drop several alleged incidents they claimed had possible criminal or human rights implications, or could fall under Bill 168 (workplace violence and harassment).
Considering the ill will the government has created with the ongoing crisis in corrections, your bargaining team was looking for a broad gesture of reconciliation. We maintain that all disciplinary matters related to bargaining should be wiped clean, and that no member should be facing any discipline for events that occurred during this round of bargaining.
No agreement was reached on disciplinary issues, and there are no further scheduled meetings to address them. All disciplinary matters will be dealt with according to the grievance procedure process laid out in the collective agreement.
Matters referred to the arbitrator
In the January 9 Memorandum of Settlement, the parties agreed to refer all matters remaining in dispute to mediation/arbitration, with Kevin Burkett as the arbitrator. The outstanding issues referred to arbitration were:
- a special wage adjustment for all members of the Correctional Bargaining Unit for 2016
- a special wage adjustment for all members of the Correctional Bargaining Unit for 2017
- progression through the pay grids
The union and the employer have now agreed to dates in mid-March and early April to finalize the renewal of the collective agreement.
Your bargaining team will be providing support to OPSEU research staff. They will present the union’s arguments and submissions on matters that remain in dispute. Staff have supported the OPS bargaining teams throughout this round of bargaining, so they are very familiar with the issues and experienced in presenting during interest arbitration.
The arbitrator will take into consideration all factors he considers relevant, including, but not limited to, current working conditions, staffing levels, and comparative wages for work of a similar nature in other Canadian jurisdictions.
The decision of the arbitrator is final and binding. It will be applied with any necessary retroactive adjustments.
We know this has been a long and arduous round of bargaining, but this next step gets us even closer to our goal. We appreciate your continued patience and support.
Your Correctional Bargaining Team
Related: Crisis In Corrections Index Page