OPSEU members in the OPS vote June 20-22 on employer “rollover” offer

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OPSEU members in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) will vote June 20, 21, and 22 on a government offer to “roll over” their existing collective agreements with a number of positive changes – and no demands for concessions from OPSEU members.

The employer offer, presented to union leadership on June 2, proposes wage and other improvements in four-year contracts that would expire December 31, 2021 for both the Unified and Correctional bargaining units.

At an emergency meeting of OPS local presidents June 10, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas called the rollover offer “without precedent in OPSEU’s history.”

Government officials had invited the union to an apparently routine meeting to discuss OPS bargaining. The rollover offer came as a surprise, given that preparations for a regular round of bargaining were well under way. The OPSEU Executive Board held an emergency meeting last week to discuss the offer, and voted to put it before OPSEU members in the OPS to either accept or reject.

“It must go to the members for a vote,” Thomas told local presidents. “How would you go back to your membership and say to them, ‘The government made an offer and we decided you weren’t going to see it and didn’t get to have your say’?

“The only way I see through this is to put it to the membership for a vote.”

Local presidents heard details of the offers for the Unified and Correctional bargaining units (see below) from Ron Elliot, OPSEU Chief Negotiator; Mickey Riccardi, Acting OPSEU co-chair of the Central Employee Relations Committee in the OPS; and Monte Vieselmeyer, OPSEU co-chair of the Ministry Employee Relations Committee in the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Teletown halls and ratification

OPSEU members across Ontario will have an opportunity to ask questions about both contract offers in telephone town halls to be held June 13, 14, and 15 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and June 16 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (all times Eastern). Further details are forthcoming.

Poll locations for the June 20, 21, and 22 votes are being arranged and will be communicated shortly. By holding the votes before the end of June, the union is ensuring that members can take immediate advantage of the first wage hike in the offers, scheduled for July 1, if the agreements are ratified.

Details of the tentative agreements

Unified

  • Four-year term: January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2021
  • Wage increases (across the board):
    • July 1, 2017 (or date of ratification, whichever is later): 1.5 per cent
    • January 1, 2019: 1 per cent
    • July 1, 2019: 1 per cent
    • January 1, 2020: 1 per cent
    • July 1, 2020: 1 per cent
    • January 1, 2021: 1 per cent
    • July 1, 2021: 1 per cent

Movement on the salary grid will recommence on January 1, 2018 with the expiry of the current collective agreement.

  • ASMP:
    • Effective January 1, 2018, the Attendance Support and Management Program (ASMP) will no longer apply to the Unified Bargaining Unit – with the following exception:
    • Employees who are already at Level 3 or Level 4 on December 31, 2017 will continue to have their attendance monitored until they move below Level 3.
  • Out-of-country medical coverage:
    • Effective January 1, 2018, out-of-country medical coverage will be made available.
    • Premiums are to be paid by the employee.
    • Cost: $6.11/month (single); $9.63/month (family).
    • Employees may enrol at any time and may leave at any time.
    • Employees who leave may not re-enrol at a later date.
  • Catastrophic drug coverage:
    • Effective January 1, 2018, catastrophic drug coverage will be mandatory.
    • Premiums are to be paid by the employee.
    • Cost: $0.94/month (single); $1.91/month (family)
  • Psychologist services:
    • Effective January 1, 2018, the current per half-hour cap for psychologist services will increase from $25 to $40.
    • The annual cap remains at $1,400.
  • Correctional nurses
    • Regardless of any potential future change in their reporting ministry, nurses working in institutions, as identified in the agreement of December 15, 2016, will remain within the Correctional bargaining unit.
  • Collective agreements:
    • The parties will establish a joint committee to address consequential collective agreement changes required as a result of the changes of December 8, 2016 to CECBA and the agreement of December 15, 2016 between the two parties.
    • Any matters in dispute around these consequential collective agreement changes may be referred to mediation/arbitration.
    • The mediator/arbitrator will have no jurisdiction to alter, modify, amend, or make any decision inconsistent with the entitlements in the current collective agreement.
  • Other terms and conditions:
    • All other terms and conditions of the current collective agreement remain unchanged for the term of the collective agreement.

Read the full text of the offer for the Unified bargaining unit.

Corrections

  • Four-year term: January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2021
  • Wage increases (across the board):
    • July 1, 2017 (or date of ratification, whichever is later): 1.5 per cent
    • January 1, 2019: 1 per cent
    • July 1, 2019: 1 per cent
    • January 1, 2020: 1 per cent
    • July 1, 2020: 1 per cent
    • January 1, 2021: 1 per cent
    • July 1, 2021: 1 per cent

Note: Correctional bargaining unit members may continue to bargain an additional wage increase (Special Wage Adjustment), backed up by interest arbitration if necessary (see below).

Movement on the salary grid will recommence on January 1, 2018, with the expiry of the current collective agreement.

  • Special Wage Adjustments:
    • Special Wage Adjustments will be the only outstanding matter in dispute between the parties that may be referred to interest arbitration, in accordance with the interest arbitration provisions.
  • Out-of-country medical coverage:
    • Effective January 1, 2018, out-of-country medical coverage will be made available.
    • Cost: $6.11/month (single); $9.63/month (family).
    • Premiums are to be paid by the employee.
    • Employees may enrol at any time and may leave at any time.
    • Employees who leave may not re-enrol at a later date.
  • Catastrophic drug coverage:
    • Effective January 1, 2018, catastrophic drug coverage will be mandatory.
    • Cost: $0.94/month (single); $1.91/month (family).
  • Psychologist services:
    • Effective January 1, 2018, the current per half-hour cap for psychologist services will increase from $25 to $40.
    • The annual cap remains at $1,400.
  • Correctional nurses:
    • Regardless of any potential future change in their reporting ministry, nurses working in institutions, as identified in the agreement of December 15, 2016, will remain within the Correctional Bargaining Unit.
  • Collective agreements:
    • The parties will establish a joint committee to address consequential collective agreement changes required as a result of the changes of December 8, 2016 to CECBA and the agreement of December 15, 2016 between the two parties.
    • Any matters in dispute around these consequential collective agreement changes may be referred to mediation/arbitration. 
    • The mediator/arbitrator will have no jurisdiction to alter, modify, amend, or make any decision inconsistent with the entitlements in the current collective agreement.
  • Other terms and conditions: All other terms and conditions of the current collective agreement will remain unchanged for the term of the collective agreement. 

Read the full text of the offer for the Correctional bargaining unit. 

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