PHO Bargaining Bulletin: Wage Re-Opener Arbitration Award

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We have received our Bill 124 Wage Re-Opener Arbitration Award from Arbitrator Kaplan today, February 27, 2024.

In this process, your Bargaining Team was seeking wage improvements, pandemic pay, improvements to benefits and classification adjustments.

We are pleased to share the details of the award with all of you.

Wages increases (with retro):

The Employer already paid out a 1% increase in each of the 3 years of the contract so the retro pay will be based on the additional increases below.

  • April 1, 2020: Additional 0.75% (1.75% total increase)
  • April 1, 2021: Additional 0.75% (1.75% total increase)
  • April 1, 2022: Additional 3.75% (4.75% total increase)

In his award, the arbitrator also made it clear that OPSEU/SEFPO Participating Hospitals are the comparator for PHO. However, because of individual contract terms, not all wage re-openers deal with the same years.

As a result, some increases that other OPSEU/SEFPO Hospital Professionals received in their Bill 124 Wage Re-Opener are not addressed in this contract term, and thus not reflected in this award. The HPD Award dealt with the time period of April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2025. We were awarded the same increase as HPD for 2022 in this contract.

Wage Increases for April 1, 2023 and April 1, 2024 will be dealt with in our next round of bargaining, which starts soon!

Paramedical Benefits increases:

Effective sixty days after issue of the award, the following caps will be increased/modified:

  • Naturopath, Osteopath, Podiatrist, Chiropractor, Physiotherapist, Masseur: to $60.00 per visit.
  • Speech Therapist: to $40.00 per half hour, $80 per hour.
  • Psychological Benefits (including MSW): No cap per visit. Reasonable and customary.

This is a big win for us and a step in the right direction for us to build on in the next round of bargaining. These changes will allow more members to access these much-needed services.

Classification Adjustments: 

(MLT 1, MLT 2, Laboratory Attendant 2, Laboratory Attendant 1, and Data Entry Operator)

The Bargaining Team submitted these classifications for special case adjustments to catch up to their hospital comparators. Unfortunately, the arbitrator did not award any special adjustments. However, the award states that this matter is best addressed in the current round of bargaining, not in a re-opener.

Pandemic Bonus/Pay:

This unfortunately was not awarded by the arbitrator.

For additional rationale and information, you can read the full award here.

Your Bargaining Team would like to thank all PHO members for your patience and solidarity over the last 3 years to get to this point.

We’re ready to build on these gains.

We are going right back into bargaining with the Employer as this contract expired on March 31, 2023.

All Local Presidents and Highest Ranking will soon be receiving instructions from our Negotiator on the steps we will be following to prepare for the next round of bargaining.

Our bargaining process – including the election of the next bargaining team – will take place in accordance with our Bargaining Procedures and all Local Presidents will receive instructions from our Negotiator on this to share with all members.

Once again, we thank you for all your support, dedication, and acts of solidarity during this round of bargaining.

Your, PHO Bargaining Team

Casey McGuire, Local 412 (Ottawa) – Bargaining Team Chair

Farzad Majdinasab, Local 545 (Toronto)

Selfa Pyentam, Local 113 (London)

Cathy Masterson, Local 522 (Toronto)