CAAT-S PT Bargaining Bulletin 6: Prepare for the ratification vote: Get informed!

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Message from the President and FVPT: Get informed before you vote

Click here to download the PDF.

Ratification votes are very important. The outcome can affect your life so you owe it to yourself to get educated and make the choice that’s best for you and your co-workers.

No agreement is ever perfect and no bargaining team ever gets everything it wants at the table. So, consider carefully the gains achieved and the concessions fought off. It’s also essential to consider circumstances that influence bargaining, like the economy and, in our day, Bill 124.

We’re impressed with the way this bargaining team resisted all 24 concessions on the table: The employer didn’t get a single thing they wanted. On the other hand, the bargaining team scored some impressive job-security gains and negotiated the maximum possible increase in compensation allowed under Bill 124.

To ensure you can make the most educated choice possible, OPSEU/SEFPO has organized a teletown hall and regional information meetings. Take these opportunities to get informed and cast your vote in confidence.

As always, you can count on your union to provide every possible assistance until your new collective agreement is signed. All you have to do is mark your ballot for a better future for you and your loved ones.

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer

Teletown Hall

A live and interactive telephone town hall will take place on Tuesday, August 10 from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., Eastern time.

OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, First Vice-President/Treasurer Eddy Almeida, the CAAT-S Part-Time bargaining team chair, Lisa Lavigne, and the CAAT-S Part-Time bargaining team members will be on hand to answer your questions.

To participate in the teletown hall, all you have to do is answer the phone when we call on Tuesday, August 10 between 4.50 p.m. and 5.10 p.m.

If you miss the call or don’t receive the call by 5.10 p.m., then you can call into the discussion by dialing 1-877-229-8493 and entering ID code 112847.

Regional Meetings

August 11

Regions 1 and 2

Conestoga, Fanshawe, Lambton, Mohawk, Niagara, St. Clair, Sheridan
August 11 from 12 to 1.30 p.m.
Register here in advance for this webinar.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the information session.

Regions 3 and 4

Algonquin, Durham, Fleming, Georgian, La Cité, Loyalist, St. Lawrence
August 11 from 7 to 8.30 p.m.
Register here in advance for this webinar.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

August 12

Region 5

Centennial, George Brown, Humber, Seneca
August 12 from 12 to 1.30 p.m.
Register here in advance for this webinar.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Regions 6 and 7

Boréal, Cambrian, Canadore, Confederation, Northern, Sault
August 12 from 7 to 8.30 p.m.
Register here in advance for this webinar.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

FAQ on CAAT-S PT Tentative Agreement

OPSEU/SEFPO also wants to ensure that as many CAAT-S PT members as possible participate in the ratification. So we’ve created an FAQ on the tentative agreement and the ratification vote. Remember, if you have any problems or concerns, please contact us at collegeptbarg@opseu.org.

  1. OPSEU/SEFPO is holding a series of regional information sessions August 11-12, 2021. Can I attend any session I want?

Yes.

  1. My local would like to arrange a special information session for our College Support Part-Time members. How would we do this?

Please contact Bargaining Team Chair Lisa Lavigne at llavigne.local349@gmail.com or email collegeptbarg@opseu.org to arrange one.

  1. Will members who have left employment be entitled to retroactive pay?

The tentative agreement states, “Effective February 1, 2021, all employees who are employed as of this date will have their hourly wage rate increased by one per cent.” As such, members will be paid retroactive pay on all earnings from February 1, 2021, to the date of the ratification of the vote.

  1. Which members are entitled to cast a ballot in the ratification vote?

The following members are eligible to vote:

  • members actively employed at the college
  • members on recall or who have a grievance outstanding
  • members on approved leave, as enshrined in the collective agreement or in law (disability leave, pregnancy/parental leave)
  1. As a College Support Part-Time member, how do I verify that I will be able to cast a ballot in the ratification process?

College Support local presidents and College Support Part-Time highest-ranking members at each college will be working between July 26 and August 6, 2021, to ensure that each member eligible to cast a ballot is on the voter list. You can also complete a “stay informed” form to request your name be added to the voter list.

  1. Is my ballot confidential?

Yes, your ballot is confidential, and the vote is supervised by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

  1. Does the bargaining team recommend that I vote to accept the tentative agreement?

Yes, the team unanimously recommends that all members vote to accept the tentative agreement as the best deal available at this time.

  1. What will the ratification ballot say? What choices will be given?

The ratification ballot will give each eligible voter the option, in French and English, to choose either <“I am in favour of the tentative agreement”> or <”I am not in favour of the tentative agreement”>.

  1. What if the tentative agreement is rejected, namely, that more than 50 per cent of the members who cast a ballot are not in favour of the tentative agreement?

If the members reject the tentative agreement, the bargaining team will come to the members for a mandate to call a strike, if necessary.

  1. If I have a problem casting my ballot, whom would I call for help?

The Ontario Labour Relations Board, which is overseeing the ratification vote, will have a helpdesk line in French and English to help any voter experiencing problems. More information about the helpdesk will be made available soon.

  1. When will the ratification vote take place? How will I cast my ballot?

The vote will take place August 13-17, 2021. It will be online or by phone through the Simply Voting electronic voting platform. Each eligible voter will be given a unique elector ID number and password to cast their ballot. More information about the voting process will be communicated ahead of the vote.

  1. I understand that compensation adjustments are capped by Bill 124, the provincial government’s public sector wage restraint legislation. I also understand that OPSEU/SEFPO has launched a Charter challenge against Bill 124.

If OPSEU/SEFPO is successful in challenging Bill 124, what happens? Could we see a further increase in compensation?

The tentative agreement includes a letter of understanding that states:

“Should Bill 124, the Protecting a Sustainability Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019, be found unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, or the legislation is either repealed or amended in such a way as to shorten the moderation period or increase the one per cent restraint measures prior to the expiry of the collective agreement, the parties shall meet within 60 days of the decision to negotiate a remedy, if any, for bargaining unit employees impacted by the legislative restraints. Further, the parties agree to invite Gerry Lee, mediator, to assist the parties.”

We’re confident the Charter challenge will be successful, and that we’ll be back at the bargaining table seeking compensation improvements.

  1. Why did the bargaining team not fight harder for paid sick days?

The bargaining team did push hard for paid sick days. However, we were limited by Bill 124, and we concluded that the first obligation was to see wages increase. For this reason, we agreed to apply the one per cent compensation cap to the wage rate for all our members. We will keep fighting for paid sick days.

  1. Are temporary, casual and student members eligible to vote on the tentative agreement?

Absolutely.

  1. What is the term of the tentative agreement?

The tentative agreement proposes a three-year term from February 1, 2021, to January 31, 2024. This term reflects the period to which Bill 124 is applicable.

  1. When is the probationary period reduction effective?

The probationary period reduction is effective for all probationary regular part-time members on February 1, 2022. It would see a regular part-time member only have to serve 742 hours of probation.

  1. How many concessions did the employer, the College Employer Council, table?

The employer tabled 24 concessions – and the bargaining team resisted them all. There are no concessions in this tentative agreement.

  1. Why did we not bargain a job evaluation system with position description forms (PDFs) for each position?

The College Support Full-Time job evaluation system (which includes the creation of a PDF for each position) is our goal for College Support Part-Time and is being advanced through the pay equity process currently underway with all 24 colleges.

  1. What if I have more questions on the tentative agreement?

If you have more questions, you can either attend the teletown hall on August 10 from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., or participate in one of the regional information sessions on August 11 and 12. Alternately, you can email collegeptbarg@opseu.org and we will get back to you with an answer.

Ratification Vote

Friday, August 13

9 a.m.: Ratification vote opens; Ontario Labour Relations Board Helpdesk available in French and English

Monday, August 16

Ratification vote continues; Ontario Labour Relations Board Helpdesk available in French and English

Tuesday, August 17

3 p.m.: Ratification vote closes

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team:

Lisa Lavigne Chair, Local 349
Nour Askandar Vice-Chair, Local 557
Dale Gartshore Local 124
Rick Townend Local 109
Denis Martinez Local 561
Julie Davis Local 351
Doreen Follett Local 416
Heather Petrie (OPSEU/SEFPO negotiator)