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OPS Table Talk 2016 Issue 49 – Team goes back to the arbitrator

In Table Talk 48, your correctional bargaining team informed you that the arbitrator had made a wage award for the Correctional Bargaining Unit. We also mentioned that your team would be in discussion with the employer to clarify a number of outstanding issues, such as implementation.

Bargaining team chair Tom O’Neill and vice-chair Gord Longhi, together with OPSEU staff, held a teleconference with the employer on June 2, 2016, regarding the implementation of the arbitrator’s award.

The union asked the employer three specific questions:

  1. What is the employer’s position on the negotiated 1.4 per cent general wage increase and the arbitrator’s special wage adjustment?
  2. What is the employer’s take on who will receive the arbitrator’s awards of three per cent and two per cent, respectively?
  3. What is the employer’s interpretation on the effective date of the wage grid freeze?

During the call, the employer provided responses that were contrary to the union’s interpretation. Therefore, the union requested a written response confirming the employer’s position.

The employer’s response was received on June 7, 2016. Their correspondence reiterated what they had stated during the teleconference, namely:

  1. The 1.4 per cent general wage increase is in addition to the special wage adjustment.
  2. Only correctional officers and youth services officers are entitled to the three per cent increase. Further, only probation and probation/parole officers and are entitled to the two per cent increase.
  3. The wage grid freeze is deemed to have a retroactive start date of January 1, 2016. Employees who have progressed on the wage grid since January 1, 2016, will be required to repay the additional income received.

In terms of how that money would be collected, the employer proposed a repayment plan, and the union made a counter-offer. The parties did not reach an agreement on this issue.

Your bargaining team categorically rejects the employer’s positions on questions 2 and 3. We will now refer these two outstanding items back to the arbitrator for clarification.

In solidarity,

Your Correctional Bargaining Team

Download Table Talk 49

Related: Crisis In Corrections Index Page