Your voice. Your strength. Your union.

Frequently asked questions

Merger Vote: September 27-29, 2022

CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services


How and when do I vote?

The vote dates have been set.

From Tuesday, September 27, 2022 to Thursday, September 29, 2022.

Method of Vote:

The vote will be conducted Online and by Telephone.

Vote Date(s):

The vote starts on September 27, 2022 at 12:00 PM noon and ends on September 29, 2022 at 12:00 PM noon (Eastern Time).

Vote Instructions:

 A personal identification number (“PIN”) is needed to vote. Eligible voters will

receive an email to their work email containing their confidential PIN and detailed instructions before the vote commences. PINs are strictly for personal use by voters and must not be shared with anyone.

If an employee believes they are eligible to vote and does not receive a PIN, or requires any assistance to vote, they may contact the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) Help Desk (see hours and contact information below).

If no one answers, employees should leave a detailed message with their full name, contact information, and OLRB case number #2076-21-PS, and a Vote Officer will respond to the message as soon as possible.

OLRB Help Desk Telephone:

416-326-7432 (Landline)

OLRB Help Desk Hours of Operation:

September 27, 2022 – 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

September 28, 2022 – 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM; 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

September 29, 2022 – 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

(All times listed are Eastern Time).

For any questions regarding voting, please feel free to contact us at the numbers below.

How can I get information about the union before the vote?

OPSEU/SEFPO representatives are available to speak with employees before voting. During the access period agreed to by the employer and OPSEU/SEFPO, the union will be able to communicate with all employees participating in the vote to ensure that you have the information you need to make your decision. This will include sharing information via meetings, in-person, email, postal mail, and over the phone.  You will be voting on whether or not you will be represented by OPSEU/SEFPO. It’s important to understand the benefits of having a union represent you. We urge you to reach out to make an informed decision prior to the vote.

What is PSLRTA?

PSLRTA is short for the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act. It was passed in 1997 to cover mergers, amalgamations, and other restructuring in three public service sectors: municipalities and local boards, school boards, and hospitals.

In this case, a merger is taking place between four organizations: CMHA Oxford, Elgin, Middlesex and Thames Valley.  According to PSLRTA, the union members of OPSEU/SEFPO at Oxford and Elgin and non-union members at Middlesex and Thames Valley will be voting on whether OPSEU/SEFPO will represent employees in a single bargaining unit, or whether there will be no union representation at all.

How did the PSLRTA process begin?

OPSEU/SEFPO, or often the employer, makes an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board. In this case the employer made an application on February 9, 2022. This application asks the Labour Board to determine the number and description of the bargaining unit(s) that are affected.

OPSEU/SEFPO filed a response to the application on February 24, 2022. On April 25, 2022 a Mediation meeting was held at the Ontario Labour Relations Board to attempt to negotiate an access agreement relating to the PSLRTA and resolve any outstanding issues. On May 18, 2022 the parties agreed to a Memorandum of Settlement which outlines how communication and access will be conducted leading up to the vote.

What happens to my collective agreement during a PSLRTA? (Union)

Once the PSLRTA process is initiated by the filing of an application to the Labour Board, any bargaining taking place is suspended. The employer is bound by all previously existing contracts at Oxford and Elgin. Each collective agreement continues to apply to the employees who were previously covered by it prior to the merger. OPSEU/SEFPO members continue to work under their collective agreement.

What happens to my terms and conditions? (Non-union)

Employees at Middlesex and Thames Valley will continue to work under their current terms and conditions of work.

What are common provisions?

Common provisions are negotiated and selected from the two OPSEU/SEFPO collective agreements (Oxford /Elgin). These provisions will include items such as seniority, and the grievance procedure.

What should I expect on voting day?

The Ontario Labour Relations Board oversees the voting process. There can be no interference with the process, coercion or intimidation of voters.

What happens after the vote?

The Ontario Labour Relations Board vote will determine if OPSEU/SEFPO will be declared the bargaining agent and certified to represent all workers at CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services OR if the workers will have no union representation and no collective agreement.

If the outcome of the vote is YES to OPSEU/SEFPO, workers with a collective agreement will continue to be subject to its terms and conditions until a new first collective agreement is bargained.

An OPSEU/SEFPO Staff Representative will be assigned and a General membership meeting will be held to elect your new Local leadership and bargaining team. All members will have access to support from the Staff Representative and union training.

The bargaining team will proceed to bargain your demands, taking into account former terms and conditions, and collective agreement articles that the team may want to table on a new first contract for all four previous agencies.

Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns about the PSLRTA and the upcoming vote?

OPSEU/SEFPO staff have many years of experience with mergers and are always available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to speaking with you.

OPSEU: Lower dues, bigger benefits

OPSEU’s dues are among the lowest in the country – just 1.375 per cent of your pay, and 100 per cent tax deductible!

And they’ve been that way for a long time.

Why? Because OPSEU members are in total control of their dues – they don’t go up unless members vote to make them go up.

But low dues don’t mean less service.

That’s because OPSEU is focused exclusively on workers just like you – Ontario public sector workers. We’re able to dedicate all of our resources, expertise and experience to improving your wages, your working conditions, and the quality of mental health care you can provide.

Your OPSEU dues get you:

  1. More than 300 lawyers, professionals and labour experts who specialize in Ontario bargaining, grievance handling, pensions, pay equity, benefits, health and safety, human rights, communications, education, research, organizing and more.
  2. All expenses paid, including travel, accommodation and meals for bargaining, grievance hearings, education, conventions and conferences. Your Local doesn’t have to cover any of the essential “big ticket” items.
  3. Skills training and education so you and your co-workers can run an effective Local and participate in the decisions affecting the union.
  4. The ability to “book off” members to do union work without losing pay.
  5. Skilled and experienced representation if your employer violates your contract.
  6. A large number of member discounts on things like insurance, cell phone plans, tickets, and travel
  7. The ability to deduct what you pay in dues from your taxable income. That means your OPSEU/SEFPO dues can end up costing 10 – 40 per cent less than the sticker price!

Member discounts

OPSEU/SEFPO members also enjoy the following attractive discounts* and special rates:

  • OPSEU Group, Home, Auto and Travel Insurance
    Baka Wireless and Bell Mobility (significantly reduced mobile devices and exclusive rate plans)
    Personal Liability Insurance ($1,000,000 for as low as $35)
    Park’n Fly Discounts
    Ontario Science Centre Discounts
    Via Rail Discounts
    Royal Ontario Museum Discounts
    Union Pearson Express Business
    Travel Program

* These discounts are subject to change. Please see website. For a full list, check here.