Table Talk Issue 14: The employer has relented
On Tuesday March 17, the Corrections Bargaining Team met with the Employer to begin Essential and Emergency Services negotiations.
When we asked for relevant information on which to base the negotiations, the Employer threatened to close Brantford and Stratford jails in the event of a labour dispute. And they denied disclosure of all of the information we had requested.
So OPSEU filed a complaint to the Ontario Labour Relations Board on March 24 and asked for a hearing, which was scheduled for April 13.
On March 27, the employer asked to meet and further discuss OPSEU’s disclosure requests.
We met April 2 and the Employer said they would consider the request further.
We agreed to a mediation session for April 9 at the OLRB, with the formal hearing still scheduled for April 13 if we could not reach an agreement.
It worked. On April 9, the Corrections Bargaining Team successfully mediated a settlement to our OLRB complaint.
The Employer agreed to a vast majority of the requested items on a go-forward basis and agreed to provide almost all of the remaining requests at a later date.
This was a radical departure from their initial position which described the union’s request as, “overly broad and extensive and undermined the bargaining process.”
We believe their initial refusal to share information was the problem really undermining the bargaining process.
However, we will resume the Essential and Emergency Services negotiations as soon as we receive the agreed-upon information.
It may be slow, but it is progress. We appreciate your patience.
Rumours will run rampant during any round of bargaining. There is no stopping the endless supply of wild stories, conspiracy theories and speculations that gain momentum on the rumour mill. Your Bargaining Teams have been very clear from the start of this process that the only official facts you can count on will be from the Corrections and Central/Unified Bargaining Teams in the form of Table Talk communications from the Communications Department at OPSEU.
Spreading rumours in the workplace and on social media does not only cause confusion but these rumours damage morale at a time when confidence in your union leadership and Bargaining Teams is essential to negotiating fair deals.
So when you hear a rumour, check the source and ask for proof. If it is not from the bargaining team it is a rumour. If you cannot verify it at www.opseu.org, it is a rumour.
Overtime in Corrections
Recently in Table Talk #13, direction was issued for the Unified Bargaining unit to “work to contract” and not to volunteer for overtime. The Corrections Bargaining Team is not asking you to refuse overtime at this time. Any specific job-related requests for Corrections members will come directly from the Corrections Bargaining team and will be posted in Table Talk under Corrections Bargaining.
OPSEU Communications will send out bargaining bulletins with updated information during OPS negotiations.
Stay informed, get involved, and show your solidarity. 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 Corrections Bargaining Team
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:
Tom O’Neill, Chair
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Ontario Public Service Employees Union