Contract talks are underway!
After months of preparation, negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement between the LCBO and members of OPSEU's Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED) started today at a hotel in Toronto.
"There's a special energy the team experiences on the first day of contract talks and I will say with strong confidence our bargaining team is prepared and eager to take on the LCBO bargaining team so that we can deliver the best possible contract," said Denise Davis, chair of LBED's seven-member negotiation group.
This will be the second round of negotiations with the employer since LBED members joined OPSEU in 2005. The current contract expires March 31, 2013.
"For our side it's all about building good jobs," said Davis. "Low income work with weak benefits and little job security, and bad scheduling for our casual members are of no interest to us. We will be bargaining hard to build on the gains we made in our last contract in 2009."
In the demanding-setting process last year LBED members made it clear what issues they want their bargaining team to address: improved wages and benefits, better job security and more gains in health and safety standards.
Davis said the bargaining team will take a strong stand against wage discrepancy where fixed term, seasonal and casual workers are paid significantly less. "The LCBO needs to understand the principle of equal pay for equal work."
"These are all important issues," said Davis, "and the team is ready to take these issues to the table. But we need the full and strong support of every last member. When the employer looks across the bargaining table we want it to see not only the seven-member negotiating team but a 7,000-member negotiating team."
Negotiating dates between the LCBO and OPSEU bargaining team for the Liquor Board Employees Division are scheduled for the following dates:
February 26-March 1
More dates will be scheduled if necessary.
Meet your mobilizers!
Negotiating a good contract on behalf of 7,000 LCBO unionized workers is the job of your elected seven-member bargaining team.
But delivering on a good contract goes beyond the hard work and long hours put in by the bargaining team. Behind the negotiating scene and on the frontline of our workplaces are mobilizers whose job it is to keep members up-to-date on negotiations and to show the employer that we stand united behind our bargaining team.
"I like to say mobilizing is the ability to agitate, communicate and animate the bargaining process all in the name of supporting our negotiators," says Luisa Quarta, an OPSEU campaigns officer who is working with LBED's nine mobilizers in the field. "Mobilizers are out there keeping the members informed and working to build solidarity all in the name of building a strong contract that benefits all the members."
Initially, nine mobilizers will be booked off for 20 days in March. That represents one mobilizer for each region; a second mobilizer will also be assigned to Region 5 (Toronto) and Region 3 (east central Ontario) where there are the greatest concentrations of LBED locals, worksite and members.
Mobilizers will be working very closely with local executives and stewards on public actions that may be taken during the bargaining process. It's vital that all members show their support by participating in actions and by attending information meetings.
Store #393 London. OPSEU Local 163. Dave has worked for the LCBO since 1985. He spent 12 years as a retail customer service representative before landing a permanent position in 1997. In 1999 he was made a product consultant. email@example.com
Store #361 Stoney Creek. OPSEU Local 287. Shawn has been with the LCBO since 1994 as a customer service representative with a permanent classification. firstname.lastname@example.org
Store #130 Bracebridge. OPSEU Local 375. Rick has worked for the LCBO for nine years as a casual customer service representative. He is a member of the LBED divisional executive as chair of the anti-privatization committee. email@example.com
Store #468 Bridgenorth. OPSEU Local 379. Eileen was elected 1st alternate mobilizer for Region 3. She has worked as a casual customer service representative for the LCBO since 1991. Eallen9@cogeco.ca
Store #384 Ottawa. OPSEU Local 499. Devon is the former chair of OPSEU's Young Workers Committee and former president of Local 499. He has been a casual customer service representative for the past 10 years. firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Office Toronto. OPSEU Local 5109. Roger was elected 1st alternate mobilizer for Region 5. He works as a Vintages Auction consultant in the Marketing & Customer Insights department at head office. He has been with the LCBO since 1995. Local5109@gmail.com
Store #501 Thunder Bay. OPSEU Local 741. Robert has been a customer service representative in Thunder Bay for the past 31 years. He is vice president of Local 741 and has held previous executive positions in the past. email@example.com
Store #117 Chapleau. OPSEU Local 683. Kevin is a member of the anti-privatization committee of LBED's divisional executive. He is the manager of a "D' store in Chapleau having previously worked as a casual customer service representative outside of Sault Ste. Marie. firstname.lastname@example.org
Store #279 Toronto. OPSEU Local 5107. Adriana joined the LC BO in 2003 and has been a casual customer service representative for the past 10 years. She is on the executive of Local 5107 in the position of secretary. email@example.com
Plan to attend information meetings!
Bargaining is about protecting your livelihood and getting what you and your families need to maintain a quality of life, opportunities for your children and the ability to retire with dignity.
But it all doesn't take place at the bargaining table.
The success of any round of contract negotiations is the support the bargaining team enjoys from individual members. It's more than about the team; it's about the strength and solidarity of all 7,000 of us.
In the weeks ahead you will be asked to attend information meetings and participate in public action, like wearing a stick-on button in the workplace. Please follow the advice and lead of your local executives and mobilizers and do whatever you can to demonstrate your support for the negotiating team.
"The bargaining team is asking all members to attend the information meetings," said bargaining team chair Denise Davis. "To succeed, we need to have every member of the division at the contract table with us."
Wear those "good jobs' buttons in the workplace
The first round of bargaining with the LCBO will take place Feb. 13-Feb. 15. To coincide with this, thousands of "Good Jobs' stick-on buttons have been produced and delivered to your local presidents and highest-ranking officers.
All LBED members are urged to wear these stick-ons for the first three days of bargaining because we are negotiating a contract that helps build on the need for good jobs in our communities.
Wear them with pride! Wear them to show your support of the bargaining team!
LBED activists demonstrate for good jobs outside Liberal leadership convention
It was bone-breaking cold. It was windy. And it took place at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
But those conditions couldn't stop several hundred OPSEU members, including a brigade of LBED activists, from demonstrating outside the Liberal leadership convention on Jan. 26.
The demonstrators gathered outside the old Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Toronto early that Saturday morning to "greet' Liberal delegates as they made their way inside the leadership convention. The message they heard delivered by the OPSEU activists was to vote for the Liberal candidate who pledged to work on behalf of the 99 per cent, not the one per cent who call Bay Street home.
"Yes it was cold, but the enthusiasm was fantastic," said Jenn Van Zetten, a member of the LBED bargaining team. We were there fighting for good jobs and there's was no way the Liberals didn't get our message."
As we approach bargaining next month make it your priority to stay on top of the news.
· Attend upcoming bargaining information meetings. The first of these meetings will begin in mid-February. Visit oldsite.opseu.org/lbed/collective.htm for the date and location of your local’s information meeting. A complete list will be posted shortly.
· Receive the Bargaining Bulletin newsletter directly to your Inbox by email. Just call the OPSEU Resource Centre at 1-800-268-7376 or 416-443-8888 and give the operator your name and secure email. Please do not use your LCBO email address.
· Bookmark the address at oldsite.opseu.org/lbed/collective.htm on the OPSEU website to learn more about what’s happening inside the Liquor Board Employees Division.
Your 2013 bargaining team
Denise Davis, Chair
Local 378 – Durham Warehouse firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Vyfschaft, Vice Chair
Local 377 –Ajax/Pickering/Oshawa/Whitby email@example.com
Local 5108 – North York/Thornhill/Unionville/Markham firstname.lastname@example.org
Local 5109 – Toronto Head Office and Warehouse email@example.com
Local 5107 – Mississauga/Etobicoke firstname.lastname@example.org
Local 378 – Durham Warehouse email@example.com
Jenn Van Zetten
Local 162 – Chatham/Windsor firstname.lastname@example.org
Your 2013 Bargaining Bulletin is authorized for distribution by Denise Davis, Chair, Liquor Board Employees Division
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU))