McGuinty pounds the privatization drum
That noise you hear off in the distance is the sound of
Dalton McGuinty beating the drum for the possible privatization of the LCBO.
In recent months the Premier has spoken out on several
occasions that he’s prepared to look at different ownership models for
Ontario’s key crown agencies, like the LCBO, Ontario Power Generation and
the Lottery and Gaming commission. Together these public assets have become
known as ‘Crown Jewels’ and they contribute billions of dollars in revenue
to the provincial treasury.
What the Premier is really saying is that his government is
prepared to privatize all or part of these public corporations, all in the
name of deficit reduction.
The view from LBED is clear. We want no part of McGuinty’s
privatization scheme. Mike Harris tried privatization a decade ago and we
successfully fought back. Harris ran for cover the moment liquor board
employees mounted a counter-offensive and he never raised the issue again.
McGuinty can expect no less from LBED if he tries to pull
off the same sleight-of-hand.
At this week’s OPSEU convention, LBED delegates will learn
more about our strategy to fight back against McGuinty’s privatization plan.
Our message will be unambiguous and crystal clear: McGuinty’s priorities are
It’s Our LCBO. Let’s Keep it Public!
www.opseu.org/lbed regularly for new information on LBED’s
Casual Benefits: All Part of the Plan
After waiting what seemed like an eternity, close to 1,000
eligible employees were enrolled in the LCBO casual benefit plan on Apr. 1.
To be eligible for the plan you must be a casual employee
with at least five years service and to have a minimum of 1,300 hours worked
in the previous calendar year.
The three major elements of the CBP include: a prescription
drug plan, dental plan, and basic life insurance. Much to the delight of
those who received it, the package straight forward covers much of which we
The members are impressed, delighted, and even a little
“This is a day a lot of us have been waiting for,” said a
relieved CSR Joseph Alam. Although Joseph doesn’t have any immediate
requirements from the plan, he knows he didn’t want to get caught off guard
by an Illness or dental requirement down the road without coverage.
Others will benefit immediately. One 27-year old employee,
who didn’t wish to be identified and who suffers from diabetes, said the
plan will take care of his $20,000-a-year financial obligation. He stressed
how meaningful the plan will be to him and his family.
Another member, identified as Jennifer, suffers from Crones
Disease and said that she can now, financially, allow her doctor to "treat
the disease properly, with the right medications.” Her previous lack of
coverage dictated that her medication choices were made on the basis of
cost, not effectiveness.
These examples remind us of the importance of collective
bargaining and maintaining solidarity throughout the negotiating process.
For more information about the new casual benefits package contact the
LCBO’s human resources division. Should you require clarification about our
collective agreement, contact your local president or OPSEU staff
representative in your region.
Editing continues for new Collective Agreement
The Edit Committee continues to proof read the language in
our new Collective Agreement and has met with the employer on several dates.
Regrettably, a meeting with the employer scheduled for Apr. 28 had to be
postponed to a later date.
New members on LBED standing committees
There have been some personnel changes to a pair of LBED
standing committees. We are pleased to announce membership in the following
Employment Equity Committee
Denise Davis, Chair, Local 378, Durham
Gino Vendetti – new member, Local 5109, Oshawa
Barbara Trigiani – new member, Local 5107, Toronto
Employee Assistance Committee – EAP
Valerie Daughton- new member, Local 5110, Toronto
Sean Spratt – new member, Local 5107, Toronto
Pay Equity – Joint Job Evaluation Committee
Pay Equity is defined as equal pay for work of equal or
comparable value. Under the Pay Equity Act of Ontario, the LCBO and OPSEU
are jointly obligated to ensure compliance with this legislation, which
requires that we develop and post a Pay Equity Plan for the bargaining unit.
The Joint Job Evaluation Committee has developed a
questionnaire to collect specific job information in order to evaluate and
compare jobs. This is a lengthy process and the employees will be notified
of the progress of these negotiations as newsletters from the Committee are
posted and circulated. The next meeting date is May 11-14.
NUPGE Liquor Component Meeting
Our Division has put out a call to all
other liquor components in Canada to meet in Toronto on May 26-27. This
meeting has been called so that we can exchange information with our
brothers and sisters from other provinces on past bargaining issues, and the
continuing threat of privatization that affects provincial liquor boards. A
full report of the meeting will be published in the next issue of Echo.
Region 1 health and safety activists meet in London
On Mar. 11 activists from different communities in Region 1
(southwest Ontario) met at the OPSEU office in London to organize LBED’s
first regional health and safety committee. The group included:
Jennifer Van Zetten, Mark Jukema, Mike Robertson,
Michael Peris and Dave Vermue.
The purpose of the meeting was to draw together activists
from a range of locations in the region to discuss issues of mutual concerns
to our members. While the provincial health and safety committee works with
the employer on issues of province-wide importance, it was felt there is a
role for regional committees to tackle problems, like asbestos
contamination, that are closer to the members’ workplaces
The meeting also served to remind local presidents of the
importance of assigning representatives to health and safety committees.
For more information about organizing regional health and
safety committees in your region, contact LBED health and safety committee
chair Tracy Vyfschaft at
Thanks to Devon Ford, Tracy Vyfschaft and Denise
Davis for contributing to this edition of Echo.
Authorized for distribution by Denise Davis, Chair and Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President.
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