Some employer takeaways remain
The employer proposal to use “pool hiring” to fill multiple vacancies is now off the table. However, despite the best efforts of the teams, there are some losses in the new agreement. Members told the teams that a strike would be a last resort. The employer made it very clear that members would
have to strike to get rid of the following:
Factor 80 – For surplus employees only
Members facing lay-off can now access Factor 80 for the length of the contract. This is a slight improvement over the employer’s previous position, which would have seen surplus Factor 80 only until March 31, 2006. The cost of this provision is fully paid for by the employer.
Separation pay eliminated
Separation pay for surplussed employees (two weeks’ pay for each year of service to a maximum of 12 weeks) has been eliminated. This money will be used for the mandatory retraining of surplussed employees. Enhanced severance under Appendix 9 is not affected.
Qualified – not “minimally”
Surplussed employees must now be “qualified” to redeploy to another job, instead of “minimally qualified.”
Unsuccessful on successor rights
The employer was not willing to address the issue of successor rights in negotiations. OPSEU will pursue this politically with the Liberal government during their term of office.
Pay for performance language still alive
The bargaining teams were unable to rid the collective agreement of the reference to exploring “pay for performance” that was negotiated by the previous Tory government.