Volume 10, Issue 2 • February 3, 2011
The survey says...
Be careful what you ask for
Be very careful how you fill out the latest "Health Interest
Poll" from the employer.
It is very likely that the employer is gathering this
information to use in our upcoming round of bargaining. The union has not
been consulted on this survey and has had no input into the survey design or
What the employer appears to be looking at is a "flex" type
of benefit plan where employees get to choose what kind and how much
coverage they want in certain areas. While this may sound good on the face
of it, what inevitably happens is that the employer reduces the overall
coverage in the plan.
Don’t forget: this is the same employer that was adamant
that they wanted to reduce your benefits.
So...be aware that by filling out this survey, you could
wind up setting your benefits demands for the next contract. That should
only occur in one place and one place only: During your union demand setting
process, then bargained by your team.
Pension plan dispute continues
You may have heard there’s lots of activity regarding the
issue of pension plan transfer to OMERS. Don’t get too excited yet.
Apparently, when it was said that MPAC was looking at "both
pension plans" it’s just PSPP and OMERS...not OPT. In a submission to the
Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, MPAC Chair Dan Mathieson
stated "Prior to divestment, non-union MPAC employees who had been employed
by the Ontario government were participants in the PSPP. However, MPAC was
not a participating employer in the PSPP and upon becoming employed by MPAC
these individuals (the "Affected Employees") ceased to be eligible to
continue accruing benefits as active PSPP members."
It is obvious by the use of the term "non-union" employees
that management is only fighting for themselves to get their PSPP pension
transferred, not fighting for staff or any managers that have been hired in
the last decade.
Not a great message for the new chair to send to staff.
Feeling the love...
Western property group "honeymoons" in the Falls
Budget restraint? What budget restraint?
For management at the Western Property Group, apparently
there’s no such thing as trying to save a few bucks.
Around 140 managers and employees were treated to a lovely
two-day getaway in the honeymoon capital of the world for a little
get-together at the Embassy Suites, Niagara.
It seems that the message from the Provincial Auditor about
decreasing the use of fancy hotels hasn’t quite sunk in to everyone at MPAC.
Look at the street...and smile!
It seems MPAC is a little behind on inspections these days,
and they’ve come up with a great way of catching up on data
verification...great, that is, if you don’t mind being a little loose on the
whole accuracy thing.
Instead of doing actual property inspections, staff are
being told to use the computer application "I Look About." Similar to
Google’s Street View, the program looks at the front of the property. The
front of the property...not the side, not the back, not inside the building.
This is a great breakthrough for speeding up inspections. No
more need to do all that tedious driving and looking around to see if the
homeowner has installed a new back deck, renovated a kitchen or installed
new wiring and plumbing. Just a quickie look at the outside of the front of
the house, and MPAC management says that property’s data is verified!
We can only wonder if the new chair of MPAC knows this
practice is currently in place. If he does know, maybe he should let the
Ontario Ombudsman know that this is the solution MPAC came up with as
opposed to hiring enough inspectors to actually do the job properly.
Re-org 2.0...something smells funny
You will excuse us if the famed MPAC re-org has us holding
So far, the so-called re-org has produced nothing except new
management promotions and new management positions...the accompanying raises
neatly circumvent the zero/zero wage increase.
As for the rest of us, we’re left with a chaotic and
undecided work transition, changes to working hours and no clue how to
properly re-direct phone calls and e-mails.
Yes...something smells a little past its due date.
Stay in touch!
To ensure a speedy response to your questions, your
leadership team has divided up all MPAC offices in the province. If you have
a question or a comment, please contact the team member responsible for your
Contact us by e-mail at work or at home, as follows:
David Lynch, Chair: London, Mississauga, Ottawa, Barrie,
Milner (CCC, CPF, LPU), Brockville, Cornwall, Pembroke
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Everett Kelly: Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Toronto
E-mail: email@example.com ;
Gary Cooper: St. Catharines, Hamilton, Goderich, Chatham,
Sarnia, Windsor, Kitchener, Brantford
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Jamie Stata: Owen Sound, Parry Sound, Bracebridge, North
Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Thunder Bay, Kenora, Fort Francis,
E-mail: email@example.com ;
Ron Donnelly: Peterborough, Trenton, Bancroft, Kingston
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Lester Yearwood, OPSEU Staff Negotiator
OPSEU ImpacT is produced by the Property Assessment Division
of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and authorized for
distribution by Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president.