Bargaining team and mobilizers meet to review 2009 bargaining round
Achievements gained and the challenges ahead marked the
outcome of a special one-day meeting of the bargaining team and mobilizers
who met in Toronto on Oct. 22 to review this year’s round of bargaining that
resulted in a new collective agreement for LBED members.
“We enjoyed a full day of frank discussions about what went
well and where we can make improvements in our next round of bargaining,”
said LBED chair Vanda Klumper. “I think it was a very valuable exercise for
The meeting brought together more than 30 mobilizers,
bargaining team members and staff who reviewed every stage of the bargaining
process from the perspective of what worked well and where changes can be
developed in time for the next round of bargaining.
Bargaining team member Laurie Miller summed up the mood of
those in attendance when she looked back at the moment when a tentative deal
was struck with the Employer.
“I got goose bumps on June 23 when we reached a tentative
agreement. It was then when the Employer finally got it. They understood
that this was about our members and not just a bargaining team. They finally
heard what the members were saying,” Miller told the meeting.
Mobilizers expressed satisfaction with the way the campaign
unfolded, but also indicated that next time around more training, more time
and more resources will be needed.
There was general agreement that one immediate outcome of
the new collective agreement is the apparent reduction in the amount of
bargaining unit work being done by managers.
Planning underway for BPS Conference
LBED locals are reminded that they should begin preparations
soon for OPSEU’s bi-annual Broader Public Service (BPS) conference,
scheduled for Nov. 26-28 in Mississauga.
Locals are allowed to elect delegates based on the
convention formula contained in OPSEU’s bylaws. All members-in-good standing
are eligible to be selected as local delegates, as well as to stand for a
position on the LBED executive and standing committees. Members can contest
these positions as delegates from the floor at the LBED divisional meeting
on Nov. 28.
Changes to LBED’s bylaws will also be put to a vote at the
divisional meeting. Locals are reminded they can draft bylaw amendments at
their local general or executive meetings to be brought forward for
consideration by the bylaw review committee.
The 2009 BPS conference will take place at the Doubletree
Airport Hotel in Mississauga.
Employer ratifies contract
After considerable fits-and-starts, the LCBO and the
government of Ontario finally ratified our new collective agreement in late
But the path that took us to this point raised eyebrows at
OPSEU and among members of LBED’s bargaining team who asked why it took more
than six weeks between the time the Employer’s board of directors approved
the contract on July 16, and the time an Order in Council (OIC) was issued
by the Premier’s office on Aug. 28.
“In all my years at the bargaining table I’ve never quite
seen anything as bizarre as this,” remarked Rob Field, OPSEU’s senior
negotiator. “New contracts are supposed to represent a fresh start, but this
one took an awfully long time to get off the ground.”
While the LCBO took the position that provisions in the new
contract would not kick in until an OIC was issued, the union pointed to
Item 4 in the Memorandum of Agreement which clearly states that final
ratification occurs on the latest date the contract is ratified by both
Casual benefits: On the way!
One of the great improvements in our new collective
agreement with the Employer is that, for the first time, casual employees of
the LCBO are now eligible for benefits.
Although there are some details that still need to be ironed
out with management, the benefit plan is now in place and this is what it
The plan includes supplementary health costs – prescription
drugs, for example – and dental coverage, but not long-term disability.
To be eligible for coverage a casual employee will need to
have been employed for a minimum of five years, including 1,300 hours in the
previous year (i.e. Jan. 1, 2009 - Dec. 31, 2009) as calculated on April 1
of the following calendar year for the duration of the four-year agreement.
What still needs to be hammered out with the Employer is the
issue of maintaining your benefit status. The Union’s position is that once
you’re in the benefits program you stay in for as long as you are employed
by the LCBO – regardless of whether you fall beneath the 1,300 hour
Full details about the benefits package to casual, part-time
employees will be distributed shortly.
LCBO needs to get serious about pay equity
With a new collective agreement under our belt it’s time the
LCBO got serious about working with OPSEU to develop and post a pay equity
plan for LBED members. After all, it’s the law!
In accordance with the Pay Equity Act of Ontario the LCBO
and OPSEU are obligated to jointly develop and post a Pay Equity Plan for
the bargaining unit resulting from the change in bargaining agent in 2006.
That means the LCBO must have a pay equity plan that reflects the new
bargaining relationship between OPSEU and the LCBO based on the work you do
today. And it must be a plan that it will be maintained into the future.
But the LCBO would prefer to drag its feet rather than roll
up its sleeves to get the job done.
The LBED pay equity committee first met with the Employer
shortly after you joined OPSEU. Little has been achieved. This is not from a
lack of effort by our pay equity committee, but rather the lack of
commitment from management. Unbelievably, we still find ourselves at the
beginning of pay equity negotiations.
OPSEU has requested that the Employer agree to a Terms of
OPSEU has also requested disclosure documentation, job data,
job descriptions, work locations, male and female predominance for the jobs
in the LCBO – both union and non-union – but the LCBO has responded at a
In this round of bargaining OPSEU raised concerns about pay
equity. The LCBO either didn’t understand or didn’t care to address these
concerns. So far, there’s been no commitment to fix the problems before they
Where do we go from here?
We must negotiate and finalize a gender-neutral comparison
system and questionnaire. We need these tools to evaluate your work. We
must determine the male and female job classes, based on
gender-predominance. We must gather details of our members jobs by touring
the province and speaking directly to you – the people who do the work.
We must evaluate your work and make comparisons between male
and female jobs. This, too, is the law!
Every attempt made by LBED’s pay equity committee to engage
in serious negotiations with the Employer has been met by ambivalence and a
reluctance to tackle the issue on the Employer’s part. We are getting no
What can we do about this situation?
We can file a pay equity complaint with the Pay Equity
Commission of Ontario. The commission will investigate our complaint and
determine what the parties need to do to correct the inequitable
compensation practices at the LCBO, making them pay-equity compliant.
Our frustration with attempting to negotiate a pay equity
agreement with the LCBO has only stiffened our resolve to get the job done.
The more the Employer attempts to dodge its responsibilities, the more LBED
is determined to hammer out a plan that will meet our members’ needs.
By Ann Wallace – OPSEU Negotiator, Pay Equity
Committee welcomes two new members
Two veteran LBED activists have been added to LBED’s pay
Bonnie Jolley, a retail casual from Local 284 in Owen Sound,
and Anne Makela, a retail full-time member from Local 741 in Thunder Bay,
will join the committee to fill vacancies.
“We’re really pleased that Bonnie and Anne stepped forward
to join us,” said LBED chair Vanda Klumper, who also serves as chair of the
pay equity committee. “They both enjoy a solid record of activism and were
key mobilizers for our members during the recent round of bargaining.”
Bonnie and Anne will join Lori Davis and Sandy Hunter on the
pay equity negotiating team.
Repatriating agency stores tops anti-privatization agenda
LBED’s ‘Keep it Public’ committee met Sept. 17 to discuss
the next steps in our campaign to repatriate 89 agency stores that were
identified in the 2007 repatriation report, prepared by our special
consultant on this issue.
The LCBO is losing $16 million in net profits on an annual
basis by operating these 89 privately-owned and operated retail outles.
After a two year challenge through the Freedom of Information Act, the
latest figures are now available and we are currently updating the original
2007 report to better reflect where we next take our campaign.
The single, biggest beneficiary from the lost revenues
through the Agency Stores to the province of Ontario is The Beer Store,
which is now a foreign-owned entity. This sort of privatization by stealth
This campaign to repatriate the most profitable agency
stores is more than just about the LCBO – it is symptomatic of the erosion
of public services in Ontario. The public service sector continues to lose
ground through divestment and contracting out to the “for profit” sector,
yet governments of the day say it’s about saving tax dollars and finding
operating efficiencies. Most public services are not profit-making entities
to begin with. Their true value is not realised until it is too late.
The repatriation of the LCBO’s agency stores is as important
to us as it is to the citizens of Ontario. We need to bring those revenues
Got a question? Call OPSEUdirect at 1-800-268-7376
LBED Executive Contacts
Local 165, Stratford
Local 378, Durham Warehouse, Whitby
Local 285, New Hamburg
Chair, Benefits & Pension Committee
Local 376, Barrie
Chair, Health & Safety Committee
Local 377, Oshawa
Chair, Education & Communication Committee
Local 5107, Toronto