August 13, 2012
Last December we started bargaining with our Employer. In May of 2012 we applied for conciliation as we
were not making much progress toward getting a new collective agreement. We met in conciliation June 7th, 8th and August 9th 2012.
Unfortunately we were not successful in reaching an agreement on major monetary issues.
We requested that the Conciliator issue what is called a “No Board” report.
In July of this year your Employer received a letter from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
along with correspondence from the Minister of Finance which directed all broader public sector Employers that all
collective agreements being negotiated must result in an outcome that can be best describe as “zero” based cost.
Any increases must be offset by savings in other areas of the collective agreement. For example if we had been successful in
negotiating a salary increase it must be offset by savings from other monetary benefits.
The same rule would apply for any movement on the salary grid, pay for performance or any other monetary obligation that would result in increased cost to the Employer.
Your bargaining team could not agree to the conditions imposed and as a result broke off bargaining,
requested the “No Board” report and will be proceeding to arbitration.
This was a unanimous decision of the team.
What is a “No Board” Report?
It simply means the Conciliator could not effect a settlement of outstanding issues and as a result the Union and the Employer
will go to arbitration. OAHPP employees do not have the right to strike under existing legislation.
What happens next?
Once we are in receipt of the report we will enter into discussions with the Employer on who is an acceptable Arbitrator.
If we cannot reach agreement on an Arbitrator there is a process that would allow the Ministry of Labour to appoint one. It is preferred
that we not go that route as we have little control over who may be appointed. There is also a need to reach agreement with the Employer as to whether
it will be a single person Arbitrator or a three person arbitration board. In a three person board both the Union and the Employer designate a person
as their member, the two members then meet and attempt to agree on who the arbitrator will be. A three person board usually takes longer to hear matters
than a single arbitrator, mainly because of need to co-ordinate dates for the three individuals.
OPSEU preference would be to have the issues heard by a single arbitrator.
The bargaining team will be contacting Union representatives in all workplaces over the next week to set up information meetings.
It is expected that the meetings will start in early September to ensure as many members as possible be given an opportunity to attend. Meetings may
be scheduled over lunch or in the evening depending on discussions between the team and the local representative. Notices will be posted in all workplaces
once the schedule is firmed up.
As a bargaining team we had hoped to reach a negotiated settlement. Unfortunately the concession costs required are unacceptable. Any wage
increases agreed to would have come at the cost of benefit co-share reductions, ie: our share cost goes up. It also meant accepting a reduction in specific
benefit entitlements. We would have been from a monetary perspective moving backwards. We were looking for parity in the Technical classifications and a
general salary increase in the other classifications
We look forward to meeting with you in the near future.