OPSSU is deeply disappointed by the lack of good will demonstrated at the October 7 mediation for the Unfair Labour Practice complaint filed by OPSSU against OPSEU.
There is no good news to share with our members.
At the EERC meeting on October 6, OPSSU was led to believe that the employer was ready to work toward better relations with staff. Smokey spoke eloquently about the need to repair the relationship, and OPSSU responded in kind. That hope and cautious optimism has now been seriously shaken.
OPSSU and OPSEU met at the EERC table on October 6 for the first time since the conclusion of bargaining.
Members of the OPSSU Executive Committee and all OPSEU administrators were present as well as Eddy Almeida and Smokey Thomas.
Following a painful post-bargaining period which featured numerous staff being targeted, suspended or fired, OPSSU is cautiously optimistic that this meeting marked a first step toward reconciliation.
Both OPSSU and OPSEU representatives expressed a commitment to start working together to improve the relationship, and move towards labour peace.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has fired four staff and issued suspensions without pay for four other staff within the past nine working days. This follows ratification of a new collective agreement on Sunday, August 28, 2016.
The Ontario Public Service Staff Union (OPSSU) received notice on September 6 that OPSEU also filed an employer policy grievance against OPSSU naming 22 staff.
OPSSU President, Pati Habermann, maintains that many or all of these recent firings and suspensions are related to the recent heated round of bargaining between OPSSU and OPSEU.
Labour Day is a time of solidarity and celebration of the power of unions.
This Labour Day, I ask you to consider the following key question: Do you feel safe in the workplace?
OPSSU is at a turning point. As we begin the enforcement of our newly ratified collective agreement, I am deeply moved by the solidarity of our membership. We are standing together and supporting each other, and this is our strength.
I know the current issues being experienced by our members are frightening. Many of us feel targeted, and that our jobs are threatened.
The recent firing of two of our members, suspension of five IT staff three of whom have still not returned to the workplace, and the suspension of two other members without pay, are shameful new additions to the growing roster of grievances OPSSU has filed. There have been more than 70 grievances this year alone.