Thanks to OPSSU members, OPSEU members and all of our allies for the outpouring of support. We are stronger together.
Any labour activist knows that when a deal is rejected we seek support and public awareness. It goes against all trade union principles that OPSEU management has threatened their staff with disciplinary action for exercising our right to communicate.
OPSSU respects member privacy
OPSSU did not violate any policy by sending out an email asking for support from OPSEU members: Solidarity is central to labour activism. All of the email addresses used to communicate with OPSEU members were found online on public websites. We respect the privacy of the OPSEU database. It is unfortunate that OPSEU does not trust their staff to honour member information privacy.
OPSSU is committed to health and safety in the workplace
OPSEU is less committed to health and safety in the workplace than they want people to think. We asked OPSEU management to participate in a workplace stress survey and they refused. They then did not acknowledge the survey results. It is shocking that they have now publicly undermined the process, falsely claiming that only 50% of our members participated, when it was close to 60%. This is a good response rate. Think of the Social Mapping Project, which had 27,000 respondents out of a membership of 120,000: a response rate of 22.5%.
OPSSU believes in a workplace free of intimidation and bullying behaviours
Bob Eaton – the OPSEU Administrator for Employee Relations as well as Organizing, Public and Government Affairs, Campaigns and Education – has demanded that OPSSU’s mention of intimidation by management be “immediately retracted”. This response is an intimidation tactic in itself.
The Workplace Stress Survey revealed that close to one third of OPSSU members believe the employer Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy is not effective. This is a startling statistic, and one which must be dealt with forthwith.
OPSSU supports a trade union approach to hiring practices
Unions work because of solidarity in the workplace. An employer that favours a nepotistic friends and family hiring plan creates an atmosphere of distrust. Undermining the value of staff work by disclosing our wages and falsely inflating them does not mask the pay of OPSEU administration, which is shared with OPSEU members at Convention. Check these public documents to see that Administrators currently receive $137,294 per year plus expenses and benefits.
OPSSU is asking for a workplace where work is valued and management can be trusted
OPSSU members filed 10 grievances in the first two months of 2016 alone. OPSEU management refused to acknowledge step 2 referrals, they did not respond to requests for meetings and did not provide any response or position on any of these grievances. This trend is disturbing and indicative of the larger problem: Trust affects our ability to enforce our collective agreement.
OPSSU is doing what it takes to bargain a fair collective agreement
OPSSU members are mobilized and committed to doing what it takes to bargain a collective agreement that values the work that we do, and which in turn allows us to do our important work with OPSEU members. We do not want a break in services, and know that the stronger we are the less likely it is that OPSEU will lock out their staff or push us to strike.
OPSSU is ready and willing to return to the bargaining table
After OPSSU members rejected a tentative agreement, the OPSSU bargaining team offered to go back to the table on three occasions. These offers were refused. OPSEU management told us they needed a couple of days, and filed for conciliation. Although it is fairly unusual that conciliation would occur just two weeks after an application for conciliation has been made, we agreed to a date with the employer. We are looking forward to returning to the bargaining table without delay.
Please visit our website opssu.ca for further information and bargaining updates.
The OPSSU Bargaining Team