|Ontario Public Service Employees Union|
Local 106 has ratified the local issues agreement for the 2014 -2016 Collective agreement
Full time 97%
Part time 88%
Bargaining news for members of OPSEU's Hospital Professional Division
Central Award Issued - 1.4% and 1.4%
A Board chaired by Robert Herman has issued its decision on our Central provisions for the term April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2016. The award was fairly minimal, but we are pleased with what is in the award and also pleased that none of the Hospitals' concessions succeeded. Also not awarded were the Union's job security proposals, which is extremely disappointing.
What is in the award
Effective April 1, 2014 wages will increase by 1.4 per cent and effective April 1, 2015, wages will increase by another 1.4 per cent. Retroactivity should be paid in accordance with Article 33 of our Central contract.
What is also in the award is another explicit acknowledgement from an interest arbitrator that ONA is the most appropriate comparator for OPSEU HPD members. Arbitrator Herman takes special note of the parties' bargaining history which shows a clear and consistent pattern of OPSEU mirroring ONA wage increases. We're really pleased that this is stated in the strongest possible terms and hope this makes future rounds of bargaining easier for our Central team.
The only other thing that was awarded was some process language on short shifts. Getting short shifts has been a top priority for the Hospitals for the last three rounds. In previous rounds, hospitals sought the unilateral right to schedule short shifts because, they argued, local bargaining units are not cooperative nor do they engage in meaningful discussion under the current Article 29.02. Arbitrators have never agreed to give hospitals the unilateral right to alter our hours of work. In this round, the Hospitals changed their tactic. They asked the Board to award language that ensured an agreement on short shifts would not be "unreasonably denied." This would have been an unfortunate development if it had been awarded as it would have led to intimidation by Employers and an overwhelming number of grievances. Thankfully, the Board rejected this proposal.
However, the Board did conclude that this was an issue that could benefit from meaningful dialogue and the language it awarded attempts to ensure that this happens. The Board is only directing that a meaningful discussion occur and that both of the local parties put their positions and rationale in writing. The final decision still rests with the local. We don't see this as a win for the Employer but we do need to be smart about how we manage this new process - both locally and centrally. This is an important issue that your bargaining team wants to give you detailed direction and guidance on, so watch for a special topic bargaining bulletin on this subject shortly.
Agreed Issues Summary
The parties agreed to some minor improvements and housekeeping changes. These are summarized below. The agreed issues are effective the date of the award.
Article 6.07 - new article allows employees who are not members of a professional college under the RHPA the right to file a workload alert form.
There are reasons to be both happy and disappointed by what is not in the award. What is unfortunately missing is all the Union's job security proposals. The Union asked for:
Prohibition of (or improvement to) Contracting Out language
We felt that we presented very compelling evidence of the need for these improvements. Despite the fact that the arbitrator acknowledged the validity of each one of these proposals, he still refused to award any changes! We find this incredibly disappointing and demoralizing. We've been told in so many previous rounds that we needed evidence that our language was causing us problems - this round we provided that evidence, but it had no impact on the arbitrator. Every other hospital union has the language we are seeking. All we can do is try harder next round and make sure that we continue to collect solid and current evidence that demonstrates that we need improved job security protection.
With respect to wages, we are disappointed that our requested across-the-Board wage increase of 3.3 per cent to all classifications did not succeed. The Board also did not award our proposed 25-year step increase of 1.8 per cent for RTs, vision care, shift premium and vacation improvements - all of which would have brought us up to the same levels as ONA. Of course, the Hospitals also did not get their wage proposals - neither their 0.4 per cent in each year, nor their new start rate at 3 per cent below the current one.
In fact, none of the hospitals concessions were awarded by the Board. Eight concessions were tabled - more than any other hospital central table! These concessions were:
New start rate at 3 per cent below the current start rate
The bargaining team wishes to thank every member for their strong support during this round of bargaining.
Your HPD 2014 Bargaining Team Members
Authorized for distribution:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
|Contract for the New University Hospital Group (Jan 2014)|
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