Frequently asked questions

Merger Vote: September 28-30, 2022

CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services

 

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 does 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.

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 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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Labour Relations Board will determine whether the vote will be conducted electronically or in-person depending on the policies in place at the time of the vote. 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.

Drop-in to speak with us in person:

Location: Delta London Armouries (Chelsea Green room), 325 Dundas St. London

Time: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Dates:

June:  23, 29, 30

July:  6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28

August:  3, 4, 10, 11

Call or email us:

Patti Markland

OPSEU/SEFPO Organizing Representative

Cell: 416-802-8121

pmarkland@opseu.org

Jeremy Thibodeau

OPSEU/SEFPO Organizing Representative

Cell: 647-528-0271

jthibodeau@opseu.org