The following email was sent to all OPSEU/SEPFO Local 546 TSSA members on Friday, July 15:
To all inspectors:
The TSSA emailed all safety inspectors today at 3pm with what they are calling a “final offer”. To be clear, this is not a real final offer – it is their latest offer – and your bargaining team has not agreed to any of this. This is another example of the TSSA attempting to manipulate the bargaining process.
We will not be holding a vote on this offer.
In bargaining, an employer can ask the Ministry of Labour to direct a supervised vote on their last offer, called a “final offer vote”. The employer has not taken this step with the Ministry of Labour. Instead, they are trying to bypass the bargaining process and force you to vote on a contract that the bargaining team has not agreed to.
The only contract union members vote on is the one that the bargaining team brings forward to you as the one that best represents the membership’s mandate.
On Monday morning at 9am, OPSEU/SEFPO will be holding a rally at the Ministry of Labour (400 University Ave., Toronto) to protest against the TSSA’s bad faith bargaining and send a clear message to the TSSA bargaining team: negotiate a fair deal!
Further below, we have outlined a few key reasons why we did not accept this latest offer. We will be holding an emergency General Membership Meeting this Sunday from 7pm-9pm to discuss this in more detail. President JP Hornick and First Vice-President/Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell will join us.
Problems with the latest offer
- 14 step wage grid: The TSSA’s latest offer puts forward a 14-step wage grid, meaning it would take a safety inspector 14 years to move to the top of the grid. This would be performance-based and the employer is the one who gets to decide if you progress up the grid or not.
The current pay policies aren’t working. That’s one of the big reasons we unionized to begin with. They want to continue the low pay, slow progression like they currently have and manipulate the process as they see fit. We do not accept this wage grid.
- Vacation entitlements: The TSSA’s latest proposal forces vacation booking by February 1st of each year. We currently have the ability to book this throughout the year. On top of this, they’re limiting us to booking 2 weeks of vacation at a time – no more than that – with no carry over of vacation.
- Long-term Disability: The TSSA does not see the need to consult the union on changes to our long-term disability plan that would impact us. We pay the premiums for that plan and we have every right to be consulted on changes. This shows a disregard and disrespect for the fact that our union is an equal partner in the workplace.
- Union representation rights: The TSSA wants to control how the union handles problems we’re having in the workplace. Their latest proposal puts a 2 hour/month cap on how much time we have to address problems.
For this, and many more reasons, we are not accepting the employer’s latest offer and we will continue to work at a deal in mediation on July 18 and 20. We hope that the TSSA sticks to their word and remains committed to working together in mediation as well!
What the TSSA did today is not bargaining in good faith. It is an act of manipulation and we will not be bullied into accepting a weak deal.
We will see you at the emergency membership meeting this Sunday!
Your bargaining team – Cory, Doug and Leo