Issue 3 • October 12, 2012
Provincial meeting leaves more questions than answers
September 12, 2012, MPAC management held its first province-wide meeting in
Toronto to roll out their next four-year strategic plan. Management outlined
some new partnerships and efficiencies that are supposed to save the
corporation $20 million over the next four years.
large majority of our members, we enjoyed the opportunity to interact with
colleagues from around the province and catch up with old friends. However,
it quickly became apparent that many of the planned “changes” MPAC is
proposing would not only have the potential for a serious negative impact on
our members, but would also have to be negotiated with the union in the next
round of bargaining.
the items that have caused us the greatest concern:
During peak periods of the
assessment cycle, the Corporation would like to hire part-time staff.
The union is 100 per cent opposed to
the concept of introducing part-time employees into our work force.
What they said:
Agreements allowing us access to
data from land surveyors are being put into place.
The union is concerned that this
type of partnership can potentially result in the loss of jobs at the LPU
and parcelization co-ordinator level.
What they said
Partnership with developers and/or
Tarion are in the works, thus making some property visits obsolete in the
We sincerely hope that the increased
availability of property data will allow Property Inspectors to devote more
time to conducting thorough sales investigations and meeting our commitments
to the re-inspection cycle. However, a POTENTIAL side effect of such
agreements is job losses for property inspectors.
What they said
Members will be able to take
advantage of a flex-time policy.
This item was a highly ranked demand
by our members in last pre-bargaining sessions. At the bargaining table,
this demand was vehemently rejected by management, with the reasoning that
this type of flexible work hour system carries large administrative costs.
What has caused this change of heart on this issue?
What they said
Our real estate footprint is to be
Potential office closures could be
What they said
PVAs and PVSs will require
We hope that MPAC’s plan is to
provide full funding through the education reimbursement policy including
professional membership fees and full grandfathering or advanced standing
for high seniority/ experienced members. However, this is an issue that must
be collectively bargained and will be raised in our next discussions with
What they said
The next reassessment should be
ready by the end of 2015 instead of the end of 2016.
That’s a full year ahead of
schedule. Does management have a realistic plan to deal with this additional
What they said
The fleet will be reduced; therefore
some or all members will be required to use their personal vehicles when
going into the field.
For the last couple of rounds of
bargaining, MPAC didn’t want to negotiate an increase in the mileage rate
for members using personal vehicles as they wanted us to use their fleet.
With this change of policy, our mileage rate is inadequate considering the
current costs of fuel, maintenance and additional insurance. This will also
have to be addressed in bargaining.
MPAC Chair Dan Mathieson took fire
from the Hudak Conservatives for the costs associated with holding such a
meeting. In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Mathieson said the
Tories “rushed to judgment” condemning a cost-effective way of unveiling to
staff its plans to streamline operations, sell office space, reduce field
staff and fleet size and put more of its services on line. “In doing so,
we’re going to realize $20-million savings over the next four years,”
Mathieson said. “We consulted with some change management experts who said
if you’re going to do this and you want to be successful in a pretty diverse
organization — because you have a lot of geography here — your best bet is
to get a lot of people together and lay the whole thing out for them.”
While the plans may have been laid
out, what remains murky is how the employer will actually implement them.
Despite what Mathieson told the Sun, at no point did he mention at
the meeting anything about selling office space, reducing field staff or
putting more services online. What more isn’t he telling us?
If the employer asks you for your
feedback on the meeting, please give it to them. Ask the tough questions and
tell them your concerns.
brought the union
In a fun, exciting, breathtaking and
innovative exercise, each participant to the Sept. 12 meeting was given a
package with three Lego blocks in it. We had to assemble the Lego blocks
into a two-row wall (without detailed instructions!!) and write on the wall
what we would “bring” to the meeting to help move the organization forward.
Was it excitement? Enthusiasm?
Nope. We brought OPSEU. Because
we’ve learned that it’s usually only through the union that we can get any
movement at all. Yes, MPAC. The writing IS on the wall.
‘Reveal yourself, Satan!’
Kudos to the manager who brought his excitement and enthusiasm to the
meeting and, during question period, decided to not ask a question at all.
Instead, he took the opportunity to rant about how an employee leaked
information about the meeting to the media. In his fervent opinion, said
employee should be immediately terminated.
What this manager hoped to accomplish with this diatribe remains to be seen.
Either we missed an actual question, or the manager just felt the need to
grand-stand in front of his fellow managers. Either way, it was just the
morale boost we were all looking for!
Unclear on the concept
At the MPAC meeting, the employer wants to explore more “work from home”
arrangements in order to reduce office space and save money.
The same manager who has “leaking” issues is part of a one-year pilot
project to work from home. Rumour has it, however, that he has asked MPAC to
fund renovations for his home office.
We think this sort of conflicts with the concept of saving money.
Maybe he’ll also ask to have his driveway re-paved for proper employee
Congratulations to a special GHN
Our warmest wishes go
to our chair, David Lynch, and his new bride Catharine on their recent
wedding. As you can see from the photo, Catharine’s “geeky, hot nerd” (her
words, not ours) is a very happy and lucky man. Congratulations!
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 office. Contact us by
e-mail at work or at home, as follows:
David Lynch, Chair:
Bracebridge, London, Mississauga, Ottawa, Barrie, Brockville, Cornwall,
Pembroke, Trenton, Bancroft & Kingston
Peter McClenaghan, Vice Chair:
St. Catharines, Goderich, Chatham, Sarnia, Windsor, Kitchener & Brantford
Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Toronto & Peterborough
North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie,
Timmins, Thunder Bay, Kenora, Fort
Francis & Dryden
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Milner (CCC, CPF, LPU), Owen Sound, Hamilton & Parry Sound
Mirla Alvarado-Fenn, OPSEU Staff
OPSEU ImpacT is
produced by the Property Assessment Division of the Ontario Public Service
Employees Union and authorized for distribution by Warren (Smokey) Thomas,