Issue #11 • June 5, 2009
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Strike prep in full swing as bargaining resumes June 8
The Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED) of OPSEU is gearing
up for action as the union heads back to the bargaining table Monday.
Strike preparation kicked off June 1-2 when over 150 activists
from across the province came to Toronto for two days of training. Members
learned about the OPSEU strike policy, took part in picket drills, and picked up
pointers on talking to reporters. One group of members focused on strike
finances, including strike pay and benefits.
“We are not bargaining to get a strike, we are bargaining to get
a collective agreement,” LBED bargaining team chair Vanda Klumper said
afterward. “But from what I saw at the training, our members are ready for
“If the LCBO insists on destroying good permanent jobs, if it
insists on crushing the hopes and dreams of our casual members, then we will not
hesitate to take this battle to the streets.”
Bargaining under a news blackout
OPSEU and the LCBO have agreed to bargain June 8-10 and from
June 15 up to the strike deadline. The two sides have also agreed to bargain
under a news blackout.
A blackout means neither side will be communicating about what
is happening at the table until a) there is a new collective agreement, or b)
talks reach an impasse.
“We agree with the employer that it’s not useful to bargain in
public,” says union team chair Vanda Klumper. “We will not be saying anything
specific about what is happening at the table.
“This does not mean the union cannot communicate about
bargaining in general,” she said. “Our bargaining goals are already public
information. We are fighting for good jobs, and members should feel free to keep
on saying so.
“Just bear in mind that specific details are subject to change
as bargaining moves along. We won’t be commenting on any of those changes.”
Good Jobs for All rally set for June 13, Toronto
Members in the Toronto area should plan to attend the Good Jobs
for All rally and march set for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 13 at Metro Hall (at
55 John Street, at King). The Good Jobs for All coalition – OPSEU is a member –
is based out of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council.
“I talked with the Labour Council at our meeting [June 4] and I
had huge cheers and support from them for our campaign on the fight for good
jobs at the LCBO,” said OPSEU Liquor Board mobilizer Maria Bauer. “We should get
a huge group of us with our flags and signs and join in!”
Find out more at
Register for strike pay and benefits
Hundreds of LBED members have already registered with their
locals to receive strike pay and benefits if a strike occurs. If you have not
already registered, please contact your local and fill out the Member’s Personal
For the first three weeks of a work stoppage, members who
perform strike duties receive strike pay of $125 per week plus $20 per week for
each dependent. If the work stoppage continues beyond three weeks, strike pay
goes up to $200 per week plus $20 for each dependent. During a strike the union
also pays for basic benefits such as life insurance, Long Term Disability
protection, and drug coverage as per the collective agreement. PFTs, PPTs, and
casuals who normally receive a percentage of pay in lieu of benefits while at
work are entitled to these benefits.
When you register for strike pay you may also request to do your
strike duties at another OPSEU local that is closer to where you live.
If you do not know who your local president is, call OPSEUdirect
at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888.
LBED makes the scene at Queen’s Park
A few LBED members took a break from strike training June 2 to
watch LCBO bargaining discussed on the floor of the Ontario Legislature. NDP MPP
Peter Kormos had this exchange with Finance Minister Dwight Duncan:
Kormos: The LCBO is owned by the people of Ontario and directly
accountable to the government, yet it wants to turn 2,400 permanent, full-time
jobs into part-time, part-year jobs. Already, more than 60% of the LCBO’s
workers are casual employees, with no job security, no benefits, no hope of
retiring and an average income of less than $20,800 a year. Yet each of those
workers is responsible for $200,000 a year in LCBO profits. Why is this Premier
allowing the LCBO to attack the livelihood of its own workers?
Duncan: I first want to acknowledge the outstanding people at
the LCBO and the good work they do on behalf of all Ontarians. The member
opposite is aware that collective bargaining is going on between the LCBO and
the employees of the LCBO. I would reiterate my very strong and firm belief in
free collective bargaining, which is what is going on now. I hope that the two
parties can continue to work together and resolve the disputes and issues that
exist between them. It’s an important part of our government, and again, I look
forward to a successful resolution of the issues that are before the union and
management today at the LCBO.
The full text of the exchange is available at
www.ontla.on.ca . Click on “Debates and
Proceedings” and then “Tuesday, June 2.”
LBED bargaining team members also had a visit Tuesday afternoon
with members of the NDP caucus at Queen’s Park. The caucus supports the union’s
bargaining goals at the LCBO.
Last week, New Democrat MPP Cheri DiNovo introduced a private
member’s bill in the Legislature to make several changes to the Employment
Standards Act. One key element: DiNovo’s bill would enshrine “equal pay for
equal work” in law – pretty interesting for workers stuck on the bottom rungs of
the LCBO’s multi-tier wage system.
Private member’s bills aim to create debate. They seldom become
Meet your mobilizers!
OPSEU mobilizers are your co-workers at the LCBO. They’re the
direct link between you and your bargaining team. The following people are
assigned as mobilizers in the OPSEU locals indicated.
Guy Jeremschuck: Local 162
Dave Holmes: Local 163
Mike Robertson: Local 164
Mike Sullivan: Local 165
Bonnie Jolley: Local 284
Paula Sossi: Local 285
Deb Altoft: Local 286
Shawn Swayze: Local 287
Matt Savelli: Local 287
Frank Gullace: Local 288
Maria Bauer: Locals 375, 3766
Doug Parks: Locals 377, 378
Eileen Allen: Local 379
Terri Taylor: Locals 497, 498
Devon Ford: Locals 499, 4100
Kevin Ramsay: Locals 5107, 5110
Roberto Ianni: Locals 5108, 5111
Craig Hadley: Locals 5109, 5110,
Mellisa Jackson: All Locals in
OPSEU Region 6
Anne Makela: All Locals in Region
Your bargaining team
The OPSEU bargaining team for the
Liquor Board Employees Division consists of seven members:
Vanda Klumper, Chair, OPSEU Local
Denise Davis, Vice-Chair, Local
Dora Robinson, Local 376
Tracy Vyfschaft, Local 377
Lori Davis, Local 499 firstname.lastname@example.org
Colleen MacLeod, Local 5107
Laurie Miller, Local 682
The bargaining team is assisted by
OPSEU Senior Negotiator Rob Field, Senior Researcher Joyce Hansen, and other
As negotiations pick up speed, make it your priority to stay on
top of bargaining news.
1. Attend upcoming bargaining information meetings (see listing
on the OPSEU web site at
2. Receive this bargaining bulletin (and our regular
newsletter, the Echo) directly by e-mail. Just call OPSEUdirect at
1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888 and give the operator your name and e-mail
3. Bookmark the address at
www.opseu.org/lbed/collective.htm on the OPSEU website to learn more
about what’s happening inside the Liquor Board Employees Division.
EAP Hotline: 1-800-263-1401
The LCBO Employee Assistance Program is a confidential,
hassle-free counseling service for eligible LCBO employees and their immediate
families. For assistance, call 1-800-263-1401. To find out more about the
Your 2009 Bargaining Bulletin is
authorized for distribution by:
Vanda Klumper, Chair,
Liquor Board Employees Division
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, OPSEU
Ontario Public Service Employees Union
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