Bargaining Teams representing 35,000 direct employees of the Ontario government will meet with government representatives for the first time on Thursday, Nov. 20 to begin talks for a new collective agreement.
The two sides will exchange opening proposals. The top priorities as voted on by OPSEU members are benefits, job security, protecting public services from privatization, work-life balance and wages and pay.
Bargaining Team members and union negotiators will first analyse the employer’s proposals before posting both sides’ opening positions to the web. As well, we will post a bulletin explaining what the employer’s proposals mean and their implications for our jobs and the health and well-being of our members and their families.
The slogan for this round of bargaining is: We can do it! Better. Cheaper. Fairer. For two decades, governments of every stripe have cut and privatized public services. There is no government policy of the last 20 years that has a worse track record than privatization.
The facts are that public employees care about the services we deliver. That’s why we do it better. Public services don’t have exorbitant profit margins that go only to the richest investors. That’s why we do it cheaper. And historically, public service jobs have been good union jobs that allow workers to live decently, raise their families, contribute to the local economy, and retire with dignity. That’s why we do it fairer.
OPSEU represents over half of all Ministry employees in more than 1,400 Ontario government worksites across Ontario. The most populous jobs in the OPSEU bargaining unit include courtroom clerk/registrar, ServiceOntario customer service representative, correctional officer, systems analyst and infrastructure technology support officer in government IT, Ontario Disability Support Plan caseworker, and probation officer.
The largest concentration of government employees can be found in Toronto, Milton, Oshawa, Orillia, London, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Peterborough, Kingston, Ottawa, North Bay, Sudbury and Thunder Bay.
The current contract for OPSEU members in the Ontario Public Service expires December 31, 2014.