2016 OPSSU Bargaining Bulletin 2

The Employer has indicated that they would like to reach a collective agreement by the end of June. Having an agreement by the end of June may be an ambitious objective, but not impossible if there is enough good will on the Employer’s
side to make it happen. The employer has complied with our request for disclosure in a timely manner, and this is a good step towards this ambitious  objective.

Four days of bargaining have been agreed to so far. The dates are June 13, 14, 29 and 30. The team is going into these
four days of bargaining working hard for a speedy resolution, recognizing that our union also needs to be prepared for a less optimistic  outcome.

The mobilizing team is busy planning activities to support your Bargaining Team’s efforts!

A MESSAGE FROM YOUR MOBILIZING COMMITTEE

Are you ready for the first day of bargaining on June 13?  It’s
our job as the Mobilizing Committee to make sure we all  are! We will be sending information to you through your unit contacts and/or strike coordinators about the activity we are planning for the first day of bargaining soon.

The Mobilizing Committee was struck by the Bargaining Team and Executive Committee as per Appendix 1 of the OPSSU Constitution. Our mandate is to create a mobilizing campaign to support our bargaining agenda in consultation with the Executive and Bargaining Team.

We are working with the Bargaining Team, Executive, Education Committee, stewards, strike coordinators and unit contacts to plan mobilizing actions over the next few months of bargaining. We’re also working to build a network with retirees who are willing to support our bargaining  efforts.

The eight members of your Mobilizing Committee are:

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PREPARE FOR THE WORST & HOPE FOR THE BEST

As we move into bargaining, your team would
like to encourage all members to start preparing for the worst. While a strike or lockout may not happen, it is always better to be prepared in the event it is unavoidable. Do not take anything
for granted. Until we vote on and accept a new collective agreement, there is a risk that a lockout or strike can occur. We urge you to turn your mind to how you will manage your finances if you need to live off strike pay for a period of time. OPSSU Strike Pay is $200 per week per member and $20 per dependent to a maximum of four dependents. Please note: You must be available for picket duty or other strike related duties in order to receive strike pay.

Our advice to members who do not already have  a “rainy day” account is to start setting aside  funds to be available during a strike or lockout. Also delay making any large purchases or entering into any financial contracts that you would not be able to sustain if you are only receiving strike pay. We have attached a document you may wish to refer to in the event of lockout or strike which has a budget worksheet that you may find  useful.

GET TO KNOW YOUR COLLECTIVE  AGREEMENT

Given the very disturbing results of our Workplace
Stress Survey, we are encouraging all OPSSU members to get know the collective agreement a little better when it comes to hours of work and entitlements to breaks and lunch. You are entitled to them, and are encouraged to take them. After all, if you don’t take care of yourself how can you take care of the OPSEU members we all have the privilege of serving?

While taking these small steps will not fix everything, it is a step in the right direction. We are doing ourselves and the members we serve a great disservice when we wear ourselves down to the point of exhaustion and burnout.  While we recognize this is more easily said than done, it is important for your health and should be encouraged and supported by the organization.

T-SHIRTS

We would ask that members wear their OPSSU red t-shirts or other red attire on all of the bargaining dates we have provided above. If you do not have an OPSSU t-shirt, please contact Mirla Alvarado who has a limited supply of them available.

Download Bargaining Bulletin #2