TORONTO — OPSEU has negotiated improvements to the job security rights in both the Unified and Corrections Collective Agreements.
An agreement with the government has been reached that will enhance the choices members would have if their job is eliminated.
The improvements were worked out by the Central Employee Relations Committee (CERC) and the Corrections Bargaining Unit Bi-Ministry Employee Relations Committee (BMERC) in consultation with the Ministry Employee Relations Committees. They take effect immediately.
Currently, under Article 20 of the Unified and Corrections Collective Agreements, members have the right to apply for other positions, potentially displace other members or take a monetary package when they receive notice that their positions have been cut.
Under the new agreement, members will be provided an opportunity to accept a job that has been identified for them by the employer (if such job is available) prior to activating their rights under Article 20. Members will always retain their rights under Article 20.
OPSEU members benefit by being offered a job that they may not be qualified for, receive training, in an effort to remain employed within the government.
“We are making every effort we can to save front line jobs and highlight the good work our members do everyday. I want to thank the MERC teams and OPSEU staff for their input in negotiating this agreement. We are glad to be able to provide members with additional opportunities when employment transition occurs,” said Neil Martin, OPSEU CERC Chair.
“Any agreement that prevents our members from being laid off is a good thing,” said Chris Jackel, OPSEU BMERC Chair. “These talks proved productive and we hope that the spirit of the discussions will carry over as we continue to raise problems related to the Corrections Bargaining Unit.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the agreement will help members keep working rather than having to leave the OPS.
“OPSEU’s most important role is to protect our members’ jobs,” Thomas said. “This is just one way we’re doing that, but there are lots of other irons in the fire. We’re going to keep trying to pressure the government to fill vacant positions, because I’ve said many times before an unfilled position is a job cut.”
OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida says it’s a positive step and hopes it will lead to further improvements to job security down the road.
“Both sides deserve credit for working together to reach this agreement, said Almeida. “Negotiations for new collective agreements will be upon us before we know it and I hope the spirit we’ve seen in the past month continues when we renegotiate our contracts.”
The Joint Transition and Re-Skilling Committee, in conjunction with your Ministry Employee Relations Committee, will be negotiating these agreements with the assistance of CERC and/or BMERC.
If you have any questions about your respective Collective Agreement or Article 20 Employment Stability entitlements, please speak to your MERC Chairs,Staff Representative, OPS Negotiator or your CERC/BMERC representative.