The Real Deal

Bargaining news from your OPSEU Central bargaining team in the Ontario
Public Service
Issue #15 December 20, 2001

Get ready for a hot January

Tuesday, Dec. 18 has come and gone at the Central bargaining table. We now have two opening proposals: yours and the employer's.

Yours is better. Your OPSEU Central Team put forward a package aimed at beginning to rebuild the OPS by supporting the people on the front lines. Our package calls for, among other things, improved job security, better wages, benefits and more classified jobs for unclassified workers, and an extension of the Factor 80 early retirement plan for any eligible employee, whether they have a layoff notice or not.

"These are the kinds of things we need to build careers in the OPS," said Marg Simmons, chair of the Central Team. "People with 'careers,' as opposed to 'jobs,' are able to develop the skills, the experience, and the loyalty that are the foundation of a top-quality public service."

This is what we are fighting for. It's what we'll have to fight hard for in the New Year. While we focused on renewal, the employer's proposal is stuck in the past. They want to make it even easier to get rid of public employees by cutting your current job security protections. They want the workers left behind to be as cheap and disposable as possible.

They haven't mentioned Factor 80. They haven't tabled a wage proposal. It's going to take a lot of pressure and persuasion by OPSEU members to knock the employer's takeaways off the bargaining table and win the improvements we need.

The good news is, member action is already working. In our workplaces, in our communities, and in the news media, OPSEU members have been letting this employer know that we mean business for over three months.

Member action has already had a direct impact on bargaining. We not only know we have your support, but more importantly, the employer knows it too. Keep up the tremendous work!

The following is a brief summary of the demands put forward. For a complete list please check the .pdf document on the OPSEU web site at

The members' proposal

Job security issues

* Looking at article 20 and improvements to it

Pension issues

* Extend factor 80, and have it accessible whether or not you have a
layoff notice.
* Other improvements


* New carrier
* Drug card
* Joint-administration
* General improvements
* Unclassified entitlements


* 6 per cent, yr.1
* 6 per cent, yr 2

Unclassified issues

* Better conversion language
* Improvements to unclassified, and seasonal staff

Family issues

* Provisions for paid emergency leave


* Order of layoff provision

Other improvements in the areas of posting and filling of vacancies, grievances, training and development, vacation improvement, travel, union activities, occupational health and safety language and issues and specific bargaining unit issues.

The employer's proposal

Pay for performance

The employer wants the ability to reward their favourites and deny others. The details of their "treasure chest" will be forwarded at a later date.

Reduce coverage by introducing "caps" and "other limits". This could mean lesser dental benefits, generic drugs or only specific drugs being covered. The details are to follow.

Eliminate the ability to pay for Factor 80 on our own. Reasonable Efforts Eliminate the ability of our members to opt in to RFP's if their jobs are eliminated under Schedule A of Appendix 18. This would have a significant
impact on MTO area maintenance and Ministry of Education at the moment and others in the context of this collective agreement.

Employment Equity
Eliminate all references to employment equity in posting and filling of vacancies. Job competitions

* Eliminate need for competition in certain situations - details to be forwarded
* Limit competitions where postings are frequent and create a bidding process
* Eliminate requirement to acknowledge applications for positions.

Attempt to eliminate rollovers for unclassified members by not counting all their "unrelated assignments" (as they determine them) in the conversion formula.

Vacation entitlement
Super vacation in order to attract "competent and qualified" people to the OPS (as opposed to the apparent "bums" they currently have). This would create a two-tiered vacation system.

Reduction of the number of "bumps"
Reduce the number of "bumps" available if members are displaced during a layoff. Details to be forwarded.

The Real Deal will be available by fax, by e-mail, and on the OPSEU web site at To receive it directly, send your secure fax number to Lesley Williams at (416) 443-1762 or send your e-mail address to

The Real Deal is authorized for distribution by Marg Simmons, chair, Central team, and Leah Casselman, president.