Opening proposals exchanged at the bargaining table
There were no real surprises at the Central/Unified table when the employer tabled their proposal for the new OPS collective agreement. The team expected to see cuts, and that’s exactly what they were given. Overall, the employer’s position would gut the very heart of the Ontario Public Service and leave members vulnerable. This is not a pause in collective bargaining as suggested by Dwight Duncan. This is a rewind.
The employer’s position includes:
- A two-year agreement.
- A two-year pay freeze.
- Creation of a new step on the wage grid 3 per cent lower than the lowest step.
- Reduce sick time payments after six days from 75 per cent to 66 and two-thirds per cent. Implement two unpaid days for more than six continuous absences. Ability to top up sick leave only to 75 per cent and only with vacation credits.
- Change benefits to a maximum annual dollar limit for all services instead of service specific caps.
- Increased use of temporary employees and consultants.
- Gutting Job Security (Article 20 and Appendix 40)
- Increase full-time conversion unclassified employees from 18 months to 24 months.
- Elimination of termination pay under Reasonable Efforts
- Eliminating termination pay for all new employees
- Freeze the current entitlements for existing employees; for example, if you currently have 14 years’ service, you will be capped at that and will not be able to earn any more.
- Elimination of Surplus Factor 80
This proposal is an outright attack on the OPS agreement.
OPSEU’s proposal includes comprehensive language to protect public services from privatization, improved job security provisions, improvements to Fixed Term, Seasonal and Student language, health and safety, posting and filling of vacancies, improved vacation language, and improved benefit language. Monetary issues will be tabled later during bargaining.