Mar 14, 2000
Grievance beats the worst of "scheduling principles"
The next step is up to OPSEU locals
Your union has beaten back the worst parts of the Corrections Divisions new scheduling principles.
OPSEU Grievance Officers Jim Paul and Scott Andrews, together with Barry Scanlon, OPSEU chair of the Corrections Ministry Employee Relations Committee, made real progress in discussions Feb. 29 and March 7. The employers response, received March 9, removed a number of clear violations of the collective agreement from the principles. Heres what the union team achieved:
The fact that members are supporting the union through stepping down from acting positions and other activities really helped us in these talks, said MERC Chair Scanlon.
Remaining issues related to the new scheduling principles will now proceed to the Grievance Settlement Board.
We offered the employer an opportunity to set aside the whole scheduling principles initiative, including the timelines, but they said NO, said Grievance Officer Jim Paul. Weve got the employer to back off from clear hard-core violations. Well take these other matters to the next step.
Local negotiations an option
Local negotiations on schedules are now an option for OPSEU locals who need to protect or improve their existing Compressed Work Week schedules.
Do not be intimidated by employer threats of eight-hour shifts, Jim Paul advises.
The employer came in with these ideas about how they were going to encourage you to go with these principles under the gun of these eight-hour shifts, said Paul. Thats their bargaining strategy. But they also know what eight-hours shifts would be less efficient and a lot more costly than the current system. They wouldnt have negotiated 12-hour shifts in the first place if it hadnt been to their advantage.
Its your choice as to whether or not you accept what they propose, he said. If you dont accept it, let them go to the eight-hour shifts.
The employer has a certain bargaining agenda on scheduling and were not endorsing their bargaining agenda, Paul said.
When bargaining Compressed Work Weeks:
Demand full disclosure
All locals should be demanding full disclosure from the employer with regard to use of unclassified staff, authorized leave hours for full-time employees, and authorized use of overtime on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis for 1999 and 1998, said MERC Chair Scanlon.
The employer needs to define very clearly what their redlines are and what their normal staffing levels would be at all times, preferably broken down into two-hour segments, he said. They should also provide a schedule of activities (recreation programs, parole boards, schools, etc.) and how those activities affect scheduling.
Negotiate the way you always would, said Jim Paul. Forget about the threat of the eight-hour shifts. Dont let them put you off your game.
Negotiating a Compressed Work Week shouldnt take long, said Paul. The model is there in the collective agreement.
All CWW agreements must be vetted by the union centrally, Paul said, and no local agreements that violate the collective agreement will be endorsed by the union.
The union will continue to regulate CWW agreements and protect the contract, said Paul. Whether head office does it, or individual members do it through the grievance procedure, the important thing is that we get schedules that members can work with without undue disruption of their personal lives.
Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, President.