Table Talk Issue 1: Negotiations kicking into gear!
OPS negotiations kicking into gear! Is your local ready?
After a week of intensive training, your OPS bargaining teams are now under way with preparations for the upcoming round of negotiations.
Your teams are now meeting in Toronto to develop our opening positions based on the local demands and priorities set by the members this past spring. The union has served Notice to Bargain on the employer October 3rd, with actual exchange of opening positions planned to occur on November 12th.
Our contract expires December 31, 2014. It would be great to have a negotiated contract by that date but if we continue talks into the New Year, the terms and conditions of our current contract are “frozen,” which simply means our current collective agreement continues until we reach a settlement agreement or are in a strike or lockout position.
We’re sure you have not forgotten the opening position of the employer with the AMAPCEO group…there is no doubt we will be facing some of those same concessions and will be in for a fight! AMAPCEO did a good job engaging their membership to fight back against a lot of the takeaways they faced. We need to do the same if not better in this round. All we want is a fair deal.
We are aware that nobody wants to strike, but it is important to support your teams throughout the bargaining process. This includes supporting a strike mandate if the teams ultimately decide that is what is necessary to make progress at the bargaining table. We have to show this employer we mean business!
What can you do now to start supporting your team?
Have a local “preparedness meeting” as that will get your members attention to attend. Survey your membership and ask them what they are prepared to do to support the bargaining process. We need to show the employer that we are united in our efforts to get the best possible contract we all deserve!!
One strategy suggested is to clear your bulletin boards of all materials except those relating to bargaining information and use colored paper, and “What’s New?” signs. Elect more stewards to be information stewards to help keep the information flowing, current and relevant. Get tech savvy with your communication methods! Sign up non-members, get all members secure email and develop your phone and email trees. Get plugged in with your service area mobilizers who will be in place by the end of October.
Having “blue Wednesdays” or “black Fridays” is a great way to show solidarity but we also need to think outside of the box this round. Come up with new and innovative strategies to show our strength! Have contests in your local to come up with some ideas.
Member mobilizers set to start end of October
Our 27 OPS member mobilizers will begin working throughout their regions at the end of this month.
The mobilizers’ main task will be to reach out to OPS members, and educate them about the threats facing the OPS in this round.
These mobilizers are an integral part of bargaining, and their work will assist the teams by creating educated, informed and engaged members, which will give the teams the power they need at the table.
OPSEU Communications will send out bargaining bulletins with updated information once negotiations commence.
Stay informed, get involved, and show your solidarity and together we will get a fair and decent contract!!
Don’t listen to rumours! TableTalk Update is your only official communication from the OPS Bargaining Teams.
Your OPS Bargaining teams
- Roxanne Barnes, CERC (Chair)
- Ron Langer, Region 1 (Vice Chair)
- Elaine Young, Region 2
- Betty Marchegiano, Region 3
- Dylan Lineger, Region 4
- Dennis Wilson, Region 5
- Beth Anich, Region 6
- John Watson, Region 7
- Mickey Riccardi, Administration
- Glenna Caldwell, Corrections
- Cindy Falcao, Institutional and Health Care
- Tim Elphick, Office Administration
- Johanne Bourgeois, Office Administration
- John Berry, Operational and Maintenance/Technical
- Steve Anderson, Fixed Term
- Ruth Hamilton, Staff Negotiator
- John McLaren, Region 1
- Dan Sidsworth, Region 2
- Gord Longhi, Region 3 (Vice-Chair)
- Tom O’Neill, Region 4 (Chair)
- Monte Vieselmeyer, Region 5
- Scott McIntyre, Region 6
- Barb Friday, Region 7
- Anastasios Zafiriadis, Staff Negotiator
Original authorized for distribution:
Roxanne Barnes, Chair
Tom O’Neill, Chair
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Ontario Public Service Employees Union