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OPS Table Talk 2015 Issue 5: Central/Unified bargaining on hiatus

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The latest bargaining and mobilizing news for OPS members

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Central/Unified bargaining on hiatus

In an exceptional move for OPS bargaining, the Conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour has recommended that the union and the employer at the Central/Unified negotiating table go on a bargaining hiatus to re-evaluate their bargaining positions.

The Conciliator made this move because he believes the sides are too far apart and are very close to a bargaining impasse. Only the Central/Unified table is affected at this time – the hiatus does not apply to the Corrections table.

To be very clear, your Central/Unified team has NOT walked away from the table. We are available and willing to bargain…however, we cannot continue to bargain with an employer that refuses to move on their concessions or accept your bargaining demands.

Our bargaining position remains very clear, backed by your actions and a strike vote. OPS members deserve more, and we will not accept the sweeping concessions the employer is insisting upon.

The ball is now in the employer’s court. They need to take a very hard look at their bargaining stance, and decide if they want labour peace in Ontario.

That’s where you, the members, come in.

Over the past few weeks, there have been an unprecedented number of workplace actions, demonstrations and MPP pickets across the province.

While this hiatus is in effect, we need members to be louder, and more disruptive than ever. It is these actions, and these actions alone, that will affect the course of bargaining.

If the government is going to re-evaluate their bargaining position, they need to do that under the backdrop of OPS members demonstrating exactly what labour unrest will look like across the province. Politicians, especially newer ones, need to learn what it is like to deal with angry and determined OPS members, day in and day out.

We are not alone. Thousands of members from other unions are voicing their support. Our fight will soon become theirs, and they have a vested interest in what happens with OPSEU OPS members.

Your Central/Unified Team members will continue to work at the bargaining table and also meet members in the regions. We are steadfast in standing strong against these massive concessions. We thank the OPS Mobilizers, the Executive Board Members, all of our solidarity allies and especially all of you for all of your hard work and dedication in supporting your teams, and your contract.

A message from your Corrections Bargaining Team

Thank you!

Thank you to all of our Corrections Division members for the awesome display of strength and solidarity this week and every week both in Toronto and across the province.

We appreciate the efforts of our Local Presidents, activists and members in ramping up pressure on the employer.

This solidarity and resolve has not gone unnoticed by the Wynne government. We need to continue to ratchet this pressure up at the political level. Wynne is feeling the increasing pressure of being dogged by our members and the media. Just because the employer hasn’t responded yet does not mean that there has not been impact.

An early strike vote was a strategy to show the employer that we were serious, and you delivered. You gave us a strong vote: a 96 per cent mandate and no concession bargaining. We heard your message loud and clear.

As of today, your Corrections team continues to bargain with the employer at the table. We are not in conciliation and have not reached an impasse at this time. Essential Service Agreements will only be negotiated when the parties reach a bargaining impasse. All members will be informed should an impasse occur.

Issues related to Essential Services will be addressed with our Legal Counsel. Worksite agreements will be negotiated in consultation with all Local executives. Your knowledge and expertise of your workplace is crucial to this process.

We need to continue to turn up the heat on the government to maximize our effectiveness at the table and, if pushed, on the line.

Stay tuned

OPSEU Communications will send out bargaining bulletins with updated information during OPS negotiations.

Stay informed, get involved, and show your solidarity. Together, we will get a fair and decent contract!!

Contact us:

Central/Unified Team
centralbargaining@opseu.org

Corrections Team
correctionsbargaining@opseu.org

Don’t listen to rumours! TableTalk Update is your only official communication from the OPS Bargaining Teams.

Your OPS Bargaining teams

Central/Unified Team

Roxanne Barnes, CERC (Chair)
Ron Langer, Region 1 (Vice Chair)
Elaine Young, Region 2
Betty Marchegiano, Region 3
Dylan Lineger, Region 4
Dennis Wilson, Region 5
Beth Anich, Region 6
John Watson, Region 7
Mickey Riccardi, Administration
Glenna Caldwell, Corrections
Cindy Falcao, Institutional and Health Care
Tim Elphick, Office Administration
Johanne Bourgeois, Office Administration
John Berry, Operational and Maintenance/Technical
Steve Anderson, Fixed Term
Ruth Hamilton, Staff Negotiator

Corrections Team

John McLaren, Region 1
Dan Sidsworth, Region 2
Gord Longhi, Region 3 (Vice-Chair)
Tom O’Neill, Region 4 (Chair)
Monte Vieselmeyer, Region 5
Scott McIntyre, Region 6
Barb Friday, Region 7
Anastasios Zafiriadis, Staff Negotiator

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