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Read "The SOURCE" for the most up to date bargaining news. Click here now and be instantly connected.

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Ratification was reached today with a 91% vote in favour of the contract proposed on June 11, 2005.  For more information, click on the website below:

Without the hardwork and dedication of our Bargaining Team, mobilizers and active members, this could not have been accomplished.  Way to go, everyone!

On Satruday, June 11, 2005, the OPS Bargaining Teams and the Employer reached a tentative agreement.  A Ratification Vote will be held across the province on June 22 and 23. 

To read the proposed agreements, click here:

June 1, 2005 - Media blackout imposed (from The Source)

The Central and Corrections Bargaining Teams met with the mediator, William Kaplan, who will assist in negotiations. At the request of the mediator, both union teams and the employer reps have agreed that there will be a blackout on the reporting of any discussions, positions or possible resolutions of any bargaining matters until the mediator decides otherwise.

A blackout is a regular practice in the bargaining process and is not intended to keep the membership in the dark. It allows both teams to continue their discussions on issues and prevents any disclosure of information that may jeopardize the team’s ability to negotiate.

Both teams appreciate the membership’s continued support as they move forward in getting a fair and respectable collective agreement.


With a 65% strike mandate, Bargaining Teams return to the table on Monday, May 30, 2005.  No strike date has been set.  To read the related OPSEU newsrelease, click here:

May 12, 2005 - Employer "final" offer tabled

The Bargaining Teams have received the Employer's "final" offer, to be voted upon by the membership.  Click below to read the offer:

May 10, 2005 - The Bargaining Teams call for Employer's "final offer"

OPSEU President Leah Casselman, in a media conference today, has indicated that there has been no real movement at the bargaining table in a number of weeks.  This despite the appointment of a conciliator.  As a result, the Bargaining Teams have asked for the Employer's "final offer" to be put forth to the membership for a vote.  The Employer has 48 hours to present the "final" offer to the union for review. 

An All President's Meeting will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2005 with high ranking OPSEU officials to discuss the Employer's offer.  It is anticipated that the offer will available on the OPSEU website May 15, 2005.

On Monday, May 16, 2005, Region 3 will be holding a Contract Information Session at the CAW Hall at 1425 Philip Murray Ave., Oshawa.  Region 3 includes members from Local 340.  The meeting will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Region 3 Central Bargaining Team member and Local 340 Vice-President, Kathleen Demareski, will be present at this meeting.
Voting on the Employer's offer is scheduled for May 25, 26 and 27.  Local 340 members will vote at their Strike Headquarters, 11 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa.  The voting times are as follows:
May 25-26 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
May 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

On the table right now, members can expect a wage increase of only 2% each year for the next three years and Factor 80 available to surplus employees only.  These employees would be served with surplus notices before March 31, 2006 and would otherwise need to qualify for Factor 80 under regular circumstances. 

These conditions are in addition to the other concessions the employer has requested so far, which includes eliminating enhanced severance and termination payments.

Voting on the offer is expected May 25, 26, and 27.  Local 340 members will likely be voting at our Strike Headquarters, 11 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa.  Again, details are yet to be confirmed.    

April 20, 2005 - Excerpts from OPSEU newsrelease

OPSEU files for conciliation in Ontario Public Service negotiations

TORONTO – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has triggered the conciliation process in public service bargaining with the Ontario government.

The union is hoping to speed the progress of talks with the government on a new contract. The previous contract expired Dec. 31, 2004.

On April 13, the Liberals confirmed the layoff of 3,700 further Ontario Public Service employees. The Liberals continue to demand major concessions on areas such as job security and bargaining unit integrity.

Under Ontario law, conciliation continues until the two parties reach either an agreement or an impasse in bargaining. If conciliation fails, there is a period of approximately 17 days until union members can strike or the employer can lock them out.

April 14, 2005 - Remarks to OPS Caucus at Convention, Terry Baxter, OPS Chief Negotiator

"I welcome the opportunity to talk directly to the leadership in OPS.

Bargaining is a power transaction and as with every power transaction, if you are in a position of strength, you are more likely to be successful and deliver on the membership’s agenda. Conversely, if your bargaining team does not have the strength of the support of the membership, then we will be negotiating on the employer’s agenda.

The current Liberal government ran their election campaign on the slogan, choose change, and the people of the province embraced the promised changes. McGuinty promised that health and education would be priorities and more importantly he promised to rebuild public services. While OPSEU continues its commitment to rebuilding public services, Dalton has failed to deliver on his promise of the necessary rebuilding of the OPS.

The Employer continues to approach our bargaining with an air of arrogance and they are extremely paternalistic at the bargaining table. They decided long before your team was able to table the membership’s bargaining demands as to the content of our next collective agreement.

You, the membership, as well as your bargaining team, thought that we would not be facing concessions at the table.

Here are the highlights of the employer concessions:

  • On April 13th the employer posted a notice in all OPS workplaces that 3,698 jobs will be eliminated over the next two years. In addition, the government is committed to a further reduction of 2,500-3,000 workers over the next four years for a total of 6,000-7,000 jobs lost. How does this rebuild public services?
  • The employer has tabled a proposal to increase the level of qualifications required for a worker to exercise their redeployment rights.
  • The employer wants to dismantle the posting obligations in Article 6 and at the same time allow Interns the right to apply for our positions for 12 months following the end of their contracts. Our own Unclassified members don’t enjoy such a right and are denied the right to grieve an unjust job competition and entry into the classified service.
  • The employer wants to hire from a pool of candidates and eliminate the need to post new vacancies.
  • The employer wants to eliminate your termination payments.
  • The employer wants to eliminate your separation allowance.
  • The employer believes their management rights clause allows them the freedom to reorganize your work in whatever manner they deem necessary. That could mean working in cross-ministry appointments, working in non-OPS workplaces with non-OPS managers directing your work and non-OPS employees working beside you in your workplace.
  • They have said no to a classification system that values your work and to a final and bind dispute resolution. There are currently over 4,000 grievers captured in the classification grievance backlog and 14,000 members seeking special case adjustments. Can all these people be so wrong about the value that should be placed on their work?
  • Your bargaining team wants to make improvements for unclassified members. The employer is certainly willing to discuss unclassified right but only if we balance the government’s interests with our demand for fair treatment. Last year 89 percent of new hires were unclassified. We can see quite clearly where the employer’s interests lie.

The employer’s reaction to every one of your demands has been to reject them. That means no benefit improvements, that means no Factor 80, that means no special cases and the means no monetary improvements in areas such as kilometric rates, vacation leave, meal allowance and shift premiums.

This government thinks that the members of the OPS will roll over and take whatever concessions the employer is seeking to further reduce public services.

There are issues sheets available that will shed some light on what is at stake in this round of negotiations. Please become familiar with them.

Your bargaining team needs your strong support if we are to be successful in our agenda to bargain the improvements you demanded."

Committees stand down during Bargaining
Enforcement and Renewal Committess have ceased business as usual until the 2004-2005 Bargaining is complete. 
Any issues normally addressed by the Central Enforcement and Renewal Committee (CERC), Ministry Enforcement and Renewal Committee (MERC) and the Local Enforcement and Renewal Committee (LERC) are being forwarded to the Central Bargaining Team for review/resolve until bargaining is complete.
The CERC team discusses joint issues that affect several ministries.
The purpose of the MERC team is communication and consultation on issues that are Ministry specific.
The LERC team focusses on issues that affect the local membership.
CERC/MERC minutes can be found at  LERC minutes for the Ministry of Finance can be found on the employer's intranet site.

Inmates bribed during last strike!
excerpts from "The SOURCE"
An account of events at a correctional institution during the 2002 strike written by a manager from the Ministry of Finance shows that inmates were bribed and rewarded to keep them quiet while managers ran the facility.
For example, the manager says in his written account, "Normally, strict portions are observed but due to the strike and the two meals per day rule, inmates get as much as they want.  It didn't take long for the results fo this interim policy to show up on their waistlines.  One inmate, who was just released, left 60 lbs. heavier than when he came in, only five months ago."
The scab manager further describes, with respect to the last meal the inmates were served just prior to the end of the strike, "At the last meal, inmages stuff their pockets with boiled eggs, sausages, bread and condiments, knowing full well that the 7-week 'all you can eat' buffets are over."
Not only were meals extravagant but management also prepared and handed out 2 - 3 'goody bags' to each inmate weekly during the strike.  Each goody bag contained: "1 coke (sic), 10 instant coffee packets, 10 sugars, 1 chocolate bar and 1 bag of potato chips."  Again, as the strike came to an end, the manager states, "Everyone then meets in Stores for the final 'goody bag' assembly line, this time doubling up the treats for the inmates."
Apparently, the rules around inmates going to bed went out the window as well, as the manger states, "Inmates were up to past 0300 watching television."
What this document or diary indicates is that the employer will go to any length to try to beat us.  Bribing and rewarding criminals while the government locked us out of the institutions is disgusting.  It should never be allowed to happen again.

If you would like an electronic or hard copy of the full manager's diary, click here to email us your contact information.

Please note that some of the manager's comments may be deemed inappropriate and offensive to some readers.

OPSEU Local 340 is a non-profit organization committed to serving its members within the Durham Region.  Questions or Comments?  Please contact us.
OPSEU Local 340
110-40 King St W
Oshawa, Ontario L1H 1A4
Phone: (905) 579-2658
Fax:  (905) 579-6619