It is with great pleasure that I write to report that following several weeks of ongoing discussions between OPSSU and OPSEU, the Parties have resolved both of OPSSU’s ULPs and OPSEU’s ULP, along with many outstanding grievances relating to the ULPs. We are very pleased with the outcome of our discussions and the settlement that we were able to achieve.
For the past few weeks, OPSSU and OPSEU have had constructive discussions regarding improving labour relations; these included, in large part, working to resolve the outstanding ULPs and related grievances. On the morning of Mar 9, 2022, the Parties executed a Memorandum of Settlement resolving the ULPs (and related grievances).
Here’s the text of the agreement, along with a PDF.
MEMORANDUM OF SETTLEMENT
Ontario Public Service Employees Union/Syndicat des employés de la fonction publique de l’Ontario(the “Employer” or “OPSEU/SEFPO”)
– and –
Ontario Public Service Staff Union (the “Union” or “OPSSU”)
the Employer and the Union are Parties to a Collective Agreement, effective March 10, 2019 to March 9, 2022 (“the Collective Agreement”);
- the Parties wish to continue to foster positive labour relations between them, including by making best efforts to communicate regularly;
- the Union filed two (2) applications alleging unfair labour practices under the Labour Relations Act, 1995, with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”), bearing OLRB File Numbers 2839- 20-U and 0134-21-U (“Union ULPs”);
- the Union filed several grievances, alleging contraventions of the Collective Agreement; the Employer filed an application alleging unfair labour practices under the Labour Relations Act, 1995, with the OLRB, bearing OLRB File Number 2860-20-U (“Employer ULP”);
- the Parties have already fully and finally resolved some of the issues in their respective ULPs; on January 14, 2022, the OLRB issued a written decision deferring both the Union ULPs and the Employer ULP to a number of ongoing arbitrations under the Collective Agreement;
- the Union has filed both a Request for Reconsideration and a Judicial Review application of the January 14, 2022 OLRB decision;
- in the interest of good labour relations, the Parties wish to resolve certain outstanding matters between them, including the Union ULPs and the Employer ULP, without further recourse to litigation.
NOW THEREFORE, the Parties do hereby agree without prejudice and precedent and without any admission of wrongdoing to the following:
1. The Union ULPs and the Employer ULP are fully and finally settled and resolved.
2. Within ten (10) working days of executing this Settlement, the Union and the Employer shall separately write to the OLRB, with a copy to the other Party, and advise that their respective ULPs are fully and finally settled and resolved and that the ULPs are withdrawn. Further, the Union will advise the OLRB that it abandons its Request for Reconsideration filed in respect of the OLRB’s January 14, 2022 decision. Further, the Union will advise the Divisional Court that its application for Judicial Review has been abandoned without costs and on consent.
3. Both Parties unconditionally retract the allegations that were made in their unfair labour practice applications. Further, neither Party will seek any further remedy with respect to any of the allegations raised in the settled ULPs in future, including in any litigation involving OPSSU and OPSEU/SEFPO.
Vacation Overages and Coverage
4. The Parties agree to consider the 2019 and 2021 calendar years as discrete vacation accrual/overage periods for the purposes of Article 19.03 of the Collective Agreement.
5. The Parties agree to address the issue of “vacation carry-over” during the current round of bargaining, set to commence in March 2022.
6. The Employer will pay out vacation overages that were clawed back from employees in 2019. Payment will be made at the applicable 2019 rates under the Collective Agreement, will be less all statutory deductions and tax withholdings and will be paid with forty-five (45) days of the execution of this Settlement.
7. Within thirty (30) days of the date of full execution of this MOS, the Employer shall review its records to determine whether any OPSSU members have carried over vacation for the 2021 calendar year, in excess of that allowable pursuant to Article 19.03 of the Collective Agreement. Should the Employer determine that an OPSSU member has carried over excess vacation, the Employer shall pay to that member the monetary value of the excess accrued vacation, except as otherwise previously agreed by the Parties.
8. Should there be any disputes with respect to the Employer’s calculations at Paragraph 7, and should the Parties be unable to resolve these disputes, the Parties agree that such disputes shall be resolved using the Mediation/Arbitration Procedure outlined at Article 8.09 of the Collective Agreement.
9. The Parties agree that in accordance with Article 19.03(a), and except as provided for in 19.03(c), employees may not accumulate more than two (2) years of vacation credits. The Parties agree that commencing the date of full execution of this MOS and until the expiry of the current
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Collective Agreement, for the purposes of Article 19, December 31st of each calendar year will be used to calculate the employee’s carry-over, in accordance with the Collective Agreement. The Parties agree to refer the issue of the effective date of this calculation to their respective Bargaining teams with a recommendation that December 31 of each calendar year be used for this calculation. Further, the Parties agree to refer any inconsistencies in the language between Article 19.03(a) and 19.03(b) to bargaining with the goal of resolving these inconsistencies.
10. For the purposes of vacation entitlement and overage when going off on pregnancy and/or parental leave: a) Vacation Bank as of the Commencement of the Leave: The employee is to work with their Supervisor to reduce their vacation bank prior to their leave, such that upon return to active work, they will not exceed the vacation overage as set out in Collective Agreement Article 19.03, except in circumstances beyond the employee’s control.
b) Vacation Accumulation during the Leave(s): Any vacation accumulated while on the leave(s) will not be reduced in accordance with Article 19. At the end of the leave, the employee will work with their Supervisor and will be able to extend this leave by using vacation. Regardless, the Employee’s vacation balance must be reduced to the levels detailed in Article 19 within one year of returning from the leave.
11. The Parties agree that the Union grievance (2020-25) is fully and finally settled and resolved.
12. Any grievances related to vacation overage are fully and finally settled and resolved, without limitation: Union (2020-02); Norman (2020-13); Rosales (2020-14); Darazi (2020-15); Nicu (2020- 16); Danbrook (2020-17); Bahn (2020-18); Walker (2020-19); Malik (2020-20); Sostar (2020-21); Banerjee (2020-22); Gilchrist (2020-23); Union (2020-25); Adach (2020-28); Fraser (2020-31); Grenci (2020-36); Boggs (2020-38); and Mulhall (2020-39).
13. Within one (1) week of the execution of this Settlement, the Employer agrees to rescind its direction requiring that OPSSU members obtain their own coverage while on vacation or their vacation will not be approved, and shall approve vacation pursuant to the Collective Agreement. Grievance Union (2020-24) is fully and finally settled and resolved.
14. The Union will, within thirty (30) days of the execution of this Settlement, advise the Employer what, if any, losses are claimed by Grievor Fraser (2021-08). Within fifteen (15) days, the Employer will respond with respect to these claims. Any disputes shall be resolved using the Mediation/Arbitration Procedure outlined at Article 8.09 of the Collective Agreement. If there are no losses being claimed, the Union agrees to withdraw the grievance.
Job Posting and Filling
15. The Parties agree that bargaining unit positions shall be filled in accordance with the Collective Agreement.
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16. The Union withdraws the following grievances: 2020-46, 2021-05, and 2021-28, which are fully and finally settled and resolved.
17. The Union agrees it is no longer challenging the post and fill process used by the Employer for competitions fully completed between June 30, 2020 and January 10, 2022, and the employees who were awarded permanent full-time jobs during that time are full-time permanent employees in those positions. The Union will not file or pursue any grievances, or any other legal proceedings, related to or arising out of the post and fill process used for competitions completed between June 30, 2020 and January 10, 2022.
18. The Parties agree that Article 11.02.01 (a) and (b) of the Collective Agreement are interpreted as follows: Permanent employees with more than eighteen (18) months shall be given first consideration, in accordance with the Collective Agreement. Qualified temporary employees and applicants from outside the OPSSU bargaining unit, in accordance with the Collective Agreement, shall compete for bargaining unit positions in the same manner as permanent employees, including using the same testing, interviews, and/or scoring. The Parties agree that the Employer need not grant interviews to temporary employees and applicants from outside the OPSSU bargaining unit if they do not pass the testing that forms part of the job competition. 19. The Parties agree that unless and until the relevant Collective Agreement language is changed, Paragraph 18 shall remain in force. The Parties agree that the remainder of Article 11 remains in full force and effect.
20. The Parties agree to develop a working group to review staffing levels and consider where increases in the OPSSU-represented staffing complement are necessary; the working group shall be comprised of three (3) OPSEU/SEFPO representatives and three (3) OPSSU representatives, chosen by the respective Parties. The Parties will have their initial meeting within thirty (30) days of the full execution of this settlement, and will meet at least once monthly, with the goal of having a proposal to take to the Executive Board by the September 2022 board meeting for their consideration.
21. The Employer agrees to contribute five hundred and twenty thousand dollars ($520,000) to the Parties’ joint pension plan and thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) in dues in accordance with Article 4.03 of the Collective Agreement to OPSSU. The Employer will provide written confirmation that this has been completed within forty-five (45) days of the execution of this Settlement.
22. The Union will, within thirty (30) days, advise the Employer what, if any, losses are claimed by Grievors Noakes (2021-09), Lewis (2021-10), Lucente (2021-11), Hall (2021-22), Evans (2021-23),
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Lumley (2021-24), Mahon (2021-26), and Liddle/Campbell (2021-07). Within fifteen (15) days, the Employer will respond with respect to these claims. Any disputes shall be resolved using the Mediation/Arbitration Procedure outlined at Article 8.09 of the Collective Agreement. If there are no losses being claimed, the Union agrees to withdraw these grievances.
Pandemic Exit Initiative
23. The Union agrees to withdraw the following grievances: Near (2021-12); Mason (2021-13); Ledwidge (2021-14); Janson (2021-15); Guppy (2021-17); Simms (2021-18); Szymanski (2021-19); Robinson (2021-20); Clayton (2021-21); and Orzel (2021-27). These grievances are fully and finally settled and resolved. Save and except for enforcement of the Pandemic Exit Initiative (“PEI”) on behalf of the bargaining unit members who were granted the PEI and subject to paragraph 25, the Union will not file or pursue any grievances, or any other legal proceedings, related to or arising out of the PEI.
24. Within forty-five (45) days of the execution of this Settlement and signing the release, the Employer agrees to pay the Grievors listed in paragraph 23 thirty thousand ($30,000) dollars, less statutory deductions, as a retiring allowance in accordance with the Pandemic Exit Initiative/Agreement. Each employee receiving the PEI will sign a release, attached hereto as Schedule A.
25. Should Grievor Ingriselli wish to retire within the next ninety (90) days of the execution of this Settlement, the Employer agrees to pay her thirty thousand ($30,000) dollars, less statutory deductions, as a retiring allowance, in accordance with the Pandemic Exit Initiative/Agreement and Ingriselli (2021-16) shall be deemed to be fully and finally settled and resolved. Should Ingriselli not want to retire within that time frame, the Union agrees to withdraw Ingriselli (2021- 16).
26. The Employer will not re-open the PEI.
Hours of Work
27. The Memorandum of Agreement regarding hours of work signed by the Parties on or about February 26, 2021 continues in full force and effect.
28. The Employer acknowledges that it entered into merger and employment agreements with another union and its full time staff, and it did not discuss the impact of those agreements on staffing with the Union in advance of the merger’s completion. The Employer agrees that in any future merger agreements with other unions and/or employee associations, it will discuss any impacts on the staffing complement in OPSSU with the Union in advance of the merger being finalized, and will not enter into any employment agreements directly impacting the Collective Agreement of the OPSSU bargaining unit without the Union’s knowledge and consent.
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29. The Employer agrees to withdraw all outstanding Employer grievances which shall be deemed fully and finally settled and resolved.
30. The Union agrees to withdraw grievance Union (2021-31).
31. OPSEU/SEFPO confirms that it has instructed its legal counsel, Mark Mendl that he is not to communicate directly via email to the Union’s Executive Committee regarding outstanding legal matters involving the Parties, unless required by law. OPSSU confirms that it has instructed its legal counsel that it is not to communicate directly with OPSEU/SEFPO’s Executive Board regarding outstanding legal matters involving the Parties, unless required by law.
32. The Employer confirms in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Settlement that it unconditionally withdraws its allegation that Lois Boggs “lied on the witness stand.”
33. The Parties agree that in the event of any breach or alleged breach of this MOS by any of the Parties, this MOS will be enforced by the Union or the Employer by way of grievance and arbitration, as per the provisions of the Collective Agreement, and that arbitration will be the exclusive forum for resolution of such disputes.
34. The Parties acknowledge and agree that nothing in this MOS affects any position that either Party may take in the hearing of the Inglis (2021-06) grievance.
Dated in the City of Toronto this 9th day of March 2022
__________________________ __________________________ For OPSSU – Lois Boggs For OPSEU/SEFPO – Ilana Goodman
__________________________ __________________________ For OPSSU – Tim Mulhall For OPSEU/SEFPO – Stephen Giles
__________________________ For OPSSU – Alison Nielsen-Jones
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RELEASE IN CONSIDERATION OF the payments and undertakings to be provided by Ontario Public Service Employees Union to, or for the benefit of, NAME as set out in the attached Minutes of Settlement, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged I, NAME, DO HEREBY RELEASE AND FOREVER DISCHARGE ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYEES UNION, ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE STAFF UNION and their associated, affiliated, predecessor, successor and parents, their respective officers, servants, agents and directors (both in their official and personal capacities) and their respective administrators, successors and assigns, (collectively, the “Employer” and “Union”) of and from all present and future grievances, actions, causes of action, claims and demands (“Claim” or “Claims”) which I, or any of my heirs, executors, administrators or assigns has against them, upon or by reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever existing up to the present time, whether legal or equitable, and arising in contract or tort, including without limitation, negligence, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, specifically of and from all such Claims arising out of my employment and the end of my employment with the Employer. I agree that once I have received the payments and benefits set out in the Memorandum of Settlement, I shall have received all wages, salary, incentive payments, credits, overtime pay, severance pay, pay in lieu of notice of termination, termination pay, vacation pay, holiday pay, pensions or any other employment benefits to which I am entitled, including, but not limited to, any amount to which I may have been entitled under the Collective Agreement. I hereby agree that I have no Claim and therefore will not commence any Claim under any applicable law, including but not limited to the Employment Standards Act, the Labour Relations Act, the Human Rights Code, the Pay Equity Act, or the Occupational Health and Safety Act, with respect to any aspect of my employment (including but not limited to the salary or wages provided to me during such employment) or the end of my employment or alleging breach of any of the provisions of such statutes, including, but not limited to, those provisions which prohibit reprisals by an employer. Further, any and all grievances filed by me and/or the Union on my behalf, or in any way related to my employment with OPSEU, including the PEI and harassment/discrimination grievance, are fully and finally settled and resolved. I agree that I shall be liable for the full amount of any payments or repayments, including, but not limited to, any tax, penalties or interest, which may be demanded pursuant to the Employment Insurance Act, the Income Tax Act, and/or the Canada Pension Plan and/or any similar applicable provincial laws as a result of any payment contemplated in this Agreement, or any payment which may, in future, be found to be payable by the Employer in respect to, and I hereby agree to indemnify and save harmless the Employer from any claim made against it under such statutes I agree that I have canvassed any and all human rights concerns or issues which may have arisen out of my employment with the Employer, the end of such employment and/or the execution of the attached Memorandum of Settlement and this Release. Furthermore, I agree that I am aware of my rights under the Human Rights Code and the anti-discrimination provisions of the Collective Agreement, and I confirm that I have not and will not assert such rights or advance any human rights claim in respect of any matter which arose out of my employment with the Employer, the end of such employment and/or the execution of the attached Memorandum of Settlement or this Release. I acknowledge that the Employer has freely offered the payments and undertakings in the Memorandum of Settlement without admission of any liability and that the payments and undertakings are the sole consideration for this Release.
I acknowledge and agree that:
(i) I have obtained independent legal advice with respect to the execution of this Release and the attached Memorandum of Settlement, or I have freely taken the decision not to do so;
(ii) I have read, understood and agree with all of the terms and conditions contained herein;
(iii) I fully understand that this document contains a FULL AND FINAL RELEASE of all Claims that I have or may have against the Employer and/or Union; and,
(iv) I have signed this Release freely and voluntarily.
Dated at the City of Toronto , Province of Ontario, this day of March , 2022.
SIGNED IN THE PRESENCE OF
____________________________ ______________________________ WITNESS NAME
Name and Address of Witness: [someone other than the Grievor’s spouse] _____________________________