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OPS Unified Table Talk Issue 4

Table of Contents

OPS Unified Collective Agreement

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To download the full version of the OPS Unified Memorandum of Settlement (MOS), click here.

Term

The term of this Collective Agreement will be for three years: January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024.

Salary

  • The bargaining team negotiated the largest allowable salary increase as permitted under Bill 124, the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019.
  • All salary rates to be increased across the board as follows:
    • January 1, 2022 – 1%
    • January 1, 2023 – 1%
    • January 1, 2024 – 1%
  • Employees who have not reached their maximum salary will continue to progress through their salary scale.

Letter of Understanding – Wage Re-Opener

  • Allows OPSEU/SEFPO to re-negotiate compensation including wages should the charter challenge for Bill 124 be successful
  • This is the same language used in other Collective Agreements negotiated under Bill124 (for example, Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED).
  • The letter does not form part of the Collective Agreement.

New Appendix – Diversity and Inclusion

  • A Letter of Understanding (LOU) for the “Continuation of Joint Diversity and Inclusion Working Group Committee” has been signed.
  • The committee is dedicated to conducting a focused review of the Unified Collective Agreement from a diversity lens to identify systemic barriers that affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and other gender diverse persons (LGBTQ+) and persons with disabilities.
  • The committee will continue discussing items identified in this round of bargaining 2021, regarding inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility, as it relates to Article 6 (Competition and Interview process), Article 8 (Temporary Assignments) and the development of a hiring process document.
  • This LOU does not form part of the Collective Agreement

Special Cases

  • The Union received 27 special case submissions for consideration and presentation to the Employer.
  • The Union presented special cases but the Employer had no desire to discuss them.
  • The Unified bargaining team submitted individual exemptions under Bill 124 for the special cases along with a request for a general exemption for the entire bargaining unit.
    • No response has been received to date.

Letter of Understanding – Ratification of New Collective Agreement

  • Allowed OPSEU/SEFPO to forward ratification voting info to the membership during the pandemic on the Employer email system.
  • This letter does not form part of the Collective Agreement.

Letter of Understanding – AODA Compliance

  • Collective Agreement will be written to be in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
  • A compliant document is intended to reduce and remove barriers for those with disabilities.

Letter of Understanding – Gender Inclusivity

  • OPSEU/SEFPO and the employer agree to make the language in the Collective Agreement gender-neutral during the editing process.

Information to New Employees

Article 5

  • Students are now entitled to receive information as a new Employee.
  • All newly hired Employees shall receive information about access to the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and associated EFAP resources.
  • Where either an Employee or the local union representative is entirely working remotely on a permanent basis, OPSEU/SEFPO may utilize the Employer’s email to contact such Employees in respect to membership enrolment only.

New letter of understanding

  • In recognition of the evolving modern and flexible work environment and the importance of ongoing communication with employees, the Parties agree to explore the feasibility of creating virtual bulletin board(s) to allow OPSEU/SEFPO to post appropriate communication to its members.
  • This letter does not form part of the Collective Agreement.

Posting and Filling of Vacancies

Article 6 and 56, Appendix 39 and a New Appendix

  • Article 6 amended to “conclusion of the competition” from the previous “closing date” language.
  • Amended to allow any interested members to now apply to restricted competitions outside of the previous 125km restriction. If any, relocation, and related expenses will be waived as a condition of gaining access to competition process.
  • Does not change any parameters to open competitions. Refers to restricted job postings only.
  • Article 56.1.1 language has been changed from calendar days to “working” days. This gives RPT members further opportunity to apply.
  • Appendix 39, Part c), the Employer shall pull from the list in rank order.
  • Employer will no longer advise candidates of their individual rank order.
  • The Union will still be provided the ranking list.
  • Language has been improved to assume that the position or positions have already cleared surplus prior to filling.
  • Added New Appendix – Members will benefit with decreased competition processes.
  • The Employer may consider using reach back provisions to fill vacancies in the same classification series within a range of two classifications below the original posting for the following classification series:
    • Office Administration
    • Financial Officer
    • Systems Officer
    • Information Officer

Health and Safety and Video Display Terminals

Article 9 and 60

  • Now Article 60 for part time Employees’ mirrors Article 9 giving everyone the same provisions including improvements to safety apparel. (60.1.2, 60.1.3, 60.1.4 – new).
  • Students are now addressed under the health and safety language.

Employment Stability

Article 20, Appendix 9 and New Appendix

  • Article 20 now refers to the new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding Employee Transition and Reskilling which is now an Appendix.
  • Employee Portfolio’s will be moving to digital/on-line; this will allow greater access to the members to update their portfolio.
  • New Appendix – Employee Transition and Reskilling – Agreement has been in place for 3 years.
    • Has been very successful.
    • Now being enshrined in the Collective Agreement.
  • This appendix provides another opportunity for members whose jobs are being eliminated/surplussed, to access another job within the OPS.
  • This does not replace Article 20 rights but provides another avenue.
    • It is up to the member should they choose to use the reskilling path.
  • The reskilling path allows the member access to jobs they would not necessarily have been eligible for.

Disciplinary Record and Letters of Counsel

Article 22

  • Article 22.15.2 is amended to reflect arbitration decisions that Letters of Counsel (LOC) are non-disciplinary in nature, and therefore are not grievable. A LOC will only stay on your local file and is not part of your HR file and cannot be relied upon after 2 years (down from 3).

Union Time Off

Article 23 and Appendix 4

  • Article 23.4 has been amended to reflect the change in the number of Joint Insurance Benefits Review Committee (JIBRC) from 3 members to 2 members. This change occurred when Corrections separated from our Collective Agreement.
  • Article 23.9 has been amended to reflect that, upon mutual agreement, a president or their designee is able to combine the 4 hours/2 weeks to 8 hours/4 weeks or 12 hours/6 weeks, to allow for more flexibility.  Some ministries were already practicing this model, so this allows for consistency across the OPS.  The intention of combining the allotted time is to allow presidents more efficient use of their time.
  • Appendix 4 has been renewed and amended to reflect the separation from Corrections. The Union may have up to 4 members on the JIBRC, which can include an OPSEU/SEFPO staff representative, and 2 of these members must be from the Unified Bargaining Unit.

Fixed Term Employees

Seniority

Article 18
  • New language removed the requirement for an Fixed-Term Employee (FXT) to be “full time” in order to accumulate seniority.  This means that every hour worked is an hour of seniority as of the ratification of this agreement.

Vacation Pay for Fixed Term Employees

Article 31A.6
  • Article is amended to reflect changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, around vacation pay.  Members with five or more years of service will now receive six percent (6%) of gross pay in lieu of vacation leave.

Benefits for Fixed-Term Employees

Article 31A.7
  • Amend Article 31A.7.2 – Current fixed-term Employees will have a one-time opportunity of 31 days following the date of ratification of the Collective Agreement to enrol in benefits, as defined in Article 39 (Supplementary Health and Hospital Insurance) and Article 40 (Dental Plan), if they pay 100 per cent of the premium for these benefits.
  • Amend Article 31A.7.3 – All newly hired fixed-term Employees will have 60 days from the date of hire to exercise a one-time option to enrol in benefits as defined in Article 39 (Supplementary Health and Hospital Insurance) and Article 40 (Dental Plan), if they pay 100 per cent of the premium for these benefits.
  • Add New 31A.7.4 – Within thirty-one (31) days following a subsequent extension for a longer period than the original contract period, a fixed-term Employee who did not elect to participate as provided for in Articles 31A.7.2 or 31A.7.3 shall have a one-time option to elect to pay 100% of the premium toward insured benefit plans.

Seasonal Employees

Article 32.13

  • Article is amended to reflect changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, around vacation pay.  Members with five or more years of service will now receive six percent (6%), up from 5.75% of gross pay in lieu of vacation leave.

Insured Benefits

Article 39 and 67

  • Effective January 1, 2022, charges for the services of a psychologist (which shall include Master of Social Work) up to $80 per half-hour from $40 per half-hour, to an annual maximum of $1600, up from $1400.
  • Effective January 1, 2023, charges for the services of a licensed chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath, podiatrist, physiotherapist, and masseur to a maximum of $30, up from $25, for each visit to an annual maximum of $1200 per type of practitioner following O.H.I.P. and speech therapist $30 per half hour, to an annual maximum of $1400.
  • Effective January 1, 2024, charges for the services of a licensed chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath, podiatrist, physiotherapist, and masseur to a maximum of $35, up from $30, for each visit to an annual maximum of $1200 per type of practitioner following O.H.I.P. and speech therapist, up to $35 per half hour, to an annual maximum of $1400.

Special and Compassionate Leave

Article 49 and 75

  • An Employee shall be entitled to special leave of up to 2 days per year to attend to unforeseen dependent and elder related care for the leave referenced in Article 49.1, so long as they have remaining special and compassionate leave.
  • This was already agreed to at Central Employment Relations Committee (CERC) on January 1, 2018, however some managers were applying this inconsistently, and now this addition will be enshrined in our Collective Agreement.

Pregnancy and Parental Leave

Article 50, Article 51, Article 76, Article 77, Article 31 and Article 32, and new letter of understanding

  • Pregnancy and Parental Leave Articles have been amended to reflect the changes to the Employment Insurance Act (EIA) as it relates specifically to the waiting period reduction from 2 weeks to 1 week.
  • Art. 50.3.2.2 (a) In Collective Agreement the waiting period was 2 weeks, which resulted in the member receiving an overpayment and having to pay it back. This is now reduced to 1 week – in line with EIA
  • Art. 50.3.2.2 (c) The second week is now moved to the end of the pregnancy/parental leave and tacked on at the end. The member receives the same amount of monies overall. Week at the beginning and a week at the end.
  • Language has been updated as it pertains to the 35 weeks (Standard Leave) and the 61 week (extended leave) in all applicable Articles.
  • Art. 50.8 – Language added – changes made on January 1, 2018 – is now enshrined in the Collective Agreement – 12 weeks instead of 6 weeks for birth, still birth, or miscarriage
  • Article 51 updated with changes made December 3, 2017.
  • New Letter of Understanding addresses any changes that may arise to the Employment Insurance Act or Employment Standards Act, 2000, the parties agree to meet to review the changes and negotiate any cost-neutral changes to the current pregnancy and parental leave provisions in the Collective Agreement.

Recognition Clause

Renew and amend Appendix 2

  • Recognizing that there is offensive terminology/language but given the historical and legal nature of the enclosures, such words cannot be amended. It was agreed that a brief statement be made in this Appendix to reflect the outdated terminology that is considered offensive.

Student Wage Rates

Appendix 12

  • Student wages have now increased to $15 an hour in accordance with recent provincial increases to the minimum wage.
  • Level 1 is now $15.00, and Level 2 is $15.85.

Ontario Internship Program

Appendix 19

  • This section was amended to reflect a change in one of the agreed upon arbitrators.

Modern and Flexible Work Arrangements

Appendix 42

  • The Appendix had to be updated to reflect changes to the way Employees now work.
  • Employer has committed to providing more flexible work arrangements that provide greater flexibility for the members while also meeting operational requirements.
  • No member will be forced to work from home unless mutually agreed upon.
  • If an Employee cannot reasonably perform work from home, the employer will provide reasonable alternative work locations.
  • Either party can cancel the agreement with at least 1 month notice.
  • Modern and Flexible work arrangements must be documented in writing, and the local OPSEU/SEFPO staff representative still has to review and sign-off on any such arrangements.
  • The Modern and Flexible work arrangement templates are now deleted from the Collective Agreement and posted on the OPS intranet. If the employer wants to make amendments to the templates, they must first be reviewed at the CERC level.

Permeability Agreement

New Appendix

  • Creation of Appendix 64 – Memorandum of Agreement signed in January 2020, now being incorporated into the Collective Agreement.
  • Continues ability to move between Unified and Corrections Bargaining Units.
  • No loss of seniority or change in continuous service date.
  • Mobility maintained for posting and filling of vacancies, employment stability, health reassignment, pay administration and accommodation.

Legally Qualified Medical Practitioner

New Appendix

  • Based on an arbitrated decision, a Legally Qualified Medical Practitioner has been defined as: a Physician, Dentist or Nurse Practitioner practicing within their scope of practice.
  • Simply put, anyone that can write a prescription can write a doctor’s note.  (For instance, this does not include Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Psychologist, etc.)

New Appendices – Letters of Understanding – Health Care Spending Account

  • New additional $300 spending account for regular and seasonal members enrolled in the Health and Dental Plans.
  • The account is not an insured benefit and not a part of the health and/or dental plan, and the amount is not taxable to Employees.
  • Examples of eligible expenses include anything already covered in our health and dental plans (like eyeglasses), health deductibles, etc.
  • The $300 account covers members and their eligible dependants and can be carried over for 1 year.
  • The account will be effective 90 days from the date of ratification.

Administrative Changes to Health Care Plan

  • Implementation of prior authorization program: doctors are familiar with this program because it is standard within the industry, the doctor will have to communicate a rationale to the insurance carrier to prescribe more expensive drugs, individuals already on these drugs are grand-parented into the program so they will not have to obtain an authorization for the drugs they are currently prescribed.
  • Enhanced Mandatory Generic Substitution: reimbursement of drugs will be based on the lowest cost eligible generic drug price. If the patient cannot tolerate the generic, medical evidence can be submitted to support why the brand-drug is being prescribed.
  • Establishment of a Dispensing Fee Cap for prescription drugs of $11.99 per prescription.
  • Implementation of annual dispensing fee cap to 5 times per calendar year in relation to prescribed maintenance drugs that can be reasonably dispensed over a longer term. Examples of maintenance drugs are drugs for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol. If you start on one dosage and the doctor increases the dosage, this restarts the dispensing fee cap count. They do not include drugs used for mental health.
  • Implementation of Manulife Drug Watch Program: The program analyzes new drugs and compares them to drugs that are currently on the market for similar conditions. Before the new drug is approved by the Insurance Carrier, they have to undergo the review process to limit the cost of new drugs.
  • Specialty Drug Care Program: Mandatory program which provides a nurse case manager for individuals taking medications to treat complex, chronic or life-threatening conditions to assist with treatment of these conditions.
  • Injectable Vitamin B6/B12 Coverage: Coverage will be limited to injectable Vitamin B6/B12 expenses incurred in relation to treatment considered reasonable and customary for a patient’s medical condition.

Shift Premiums

Article UN 6

  • Effective January 1, 2023, Shift Premiums will increase from $0.98 per hour to $1.23 for all hours worked between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  • Effective January 1, 2024, Shift Premiums will further increase to $1.43 for all hours worked between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

On-Call

Article UN 11

  • Effective January 1, 2022, On-Call rates increase from $1.40 per hour to $1.95 per hour for all hours that the Employee is required to be on-on call.

Letter of Understanding – Surveillance in the Workplace

New Letter of Understanding

  • OPSEU/SEFPO and the employer agree to discussions regarding the use of video and audio recordings in the workplace and the implications it has caused and continues to cause for members

Deleted:

  • Article 17 – Joint Consultation Committee – This is more of an editing item.  This committee is no longer required and so the deleting of the article has no impact.  The duties of this committee are covered in other aspects of the OPSEU processes such as at the Ministry Employment Relations Committee and Central Employee Relation Committee table as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Appendix 24 – Letter of Understanding – Seniority for Fixed Term Employees in Correctional Institutions, Youth Justice facilities, Probation and Parole Offices and Oakridge because it is defunct.
  • Appendix 59 – Service Ontario Scheduling Arrangements – Was used to refer those issues to the Central Employee Relation Committee – no longer needed in the Collective Agreement.
  • Appendix 60 – Preferred Pharmacy Networks – Employer was going to explore this as a possibility and report back to Central Employee Relation Committee in 2016. No longer needed in the Collective Agreement.
  • Appendix 61 – Health & Productivity Program Review – The Central Employee Relation Committee reviewed this program in one ministry and considered applying to other ministries. No longer needed in the Collective Agreement.
  • Appendix 62 – Dependent Life Insurance – One-time option in 2015 to purchase dependent life insurance – no longer needed in the Collective Agreement.
  • Appendix UN2 – Custodial Responsibility Allowance – Only applied to Employees with care and control of inmates. Work no longer performed by OPS Unified Bargaining Unit members.
  • Appendix UN8 Salary Progression Freeze – Only applied January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017 – No longer needed in the Collective Agreement.
  • General Notes and Allowances – G24 – Removal of general note regarding nurses’ salary progression. Work performed by these nurses no longer covered by OPS Unified Collective Agreement

Housekeeping:

  • Appendix 46 – TEI – An administrative amendment was made under Section 5.ii of Appendix 46.  This administrative amendment had been previously agreed to by both the Employer and the Union.
  • Appendix 50 – Appendix was amended to capture the separation of the Corrections and Unified Bargaining Units.  Additional amendments were made as necessary to reflect changes in position titles or Ministry names
  • Appendix 58 – Employee and Family Assistance Program – change in the name of the program from Employee and Assistance Program
  • Appendix UN5 – Compressed Work Week Arrangements – removing the reference to “Central”
  • During the editing process, all references to “Central”, “COR” and “Corrections” will be removed to reflect the separation of the Collective Agreements.

Renewed:

Renew the following appendices with no changes from the previous Collective Agreement:

  • Appendix 1 – Data File on Union Dues
  • Appendix 3 – Use of Privately Owned Automobiles
  • Appendix 4 – Joint Insurance Benefits Review Committee
  • Appendix 5 – Release of Information – Insured Benefits Appeal
  • Appendix 6 – Same Sex Spouses
  • Appendix 7 – Classification System Subcommittees
  • Appendix 8 – Letter of Understanding – Article 22.12 and Appendix 7
  • Appendix 9 – Employment Stability
  • Appendix 11 – OPSEU Pension Plan
  • Appendix 13 – Relocation of an Operation Beyond a 40 Kilometre Radius
  • Appendix 14 – Successor Rights
  • Appendix 15 – Letter of Understanding – Fixed-Term Employees
  • Appendix 18 – Memorandum of Settlement – Transfer to New Employer
  • Appendix 21 – Memorandum of Agreement – Enhanced Recruitment Initiative Programme
  • Appendix 23 – Letter of Understanding – Innovation Fund
  • Appendix 25 – Letter of Understanding – Conversion of Part-time Fixed-Term Employees
  • Appendix 26 – Letter of Understanding – Fixed-Term Employees – Salaries
  • Appendix 29 – Letter of Understanding MERC
  • Appendix 31 – Letter of Understanding Articling Students
  • Appendix 32 – Letter of Understanding Court Support Services
  • Appendix 34 – Letter of Understanding Classification System
  • Appendix 37 – Pay Equity Adjustments
  • Appendix 38 – Information and Information Technology
  • Appendix 40 – Employment Stability
  • Appendix 43 – Internationally Trained Professionals Program
  • Appendix 44 – Learn and Work Program
  • Appendix 48 – Letter of Understanding – Scope
  • Appendix 49 – Letter of Understanding – Seasonal Seniority Lists
  • Appendix 51 – Quality of Public Services
  • Appendix 52 – Letter of Understanding – Technological Change
  • Appendix 53 – Memorandum of Agreement – CERC File Review
  • Appendix 54 – Letter of Understanding – Pay Adjustments for Minimum Wage Increases
  • Appendix 55 – Letter of Understanding – Mandatory Rehabilitation
  • Appendix 63 – Letter of Understanding – Administrative Changes to Insured Benefit Plan