Your Local President

Posted on 11-02-2010 under General Discussion, Your Local President

From time to time, workers believe that their job has changed in context to what has been documented in their Position Description Form (PDF).

The Parties to the Collective Agreement have an agreed to process, within the Agreement to deal with these concerns.  Article 18.4 is an agreed to, fair and effective way to determine if your position is accurate and properly evaluated.

For some supervisors/managers it would appear they fear this agreed to process to the extent that it has been related to me that some managers/supervisors have told workers a number of totally erroneous and false workplace outcomes should a worker exercise their rights under the agreed to Collective Agreement with the employer.

So, some “BULL” from the BOSS.

EMPLOYER LINE

Oh, if you ask to have your job looked at, and if there is more that 30% change of duties and responsibilities, the employer must re-post the position.

THE REALITY

This it totally a lie!  There is NOTHING in the Collective Agreement that requires the employer to re-post YOUR job if there are changes to the extent that there will be a payband change.

EMPLOYER LINE

Well, should you challenge the employer (launch a proper grievance) you will get a BLACK MARK attached to your name and that will have an impact in the future employment relationship.  (really on anything that is an employment relationship)

THE REALITY

I guess this is really up to the member concerned if you truly believe the employer is placing marks beside workers names, however this is just purely an intimidation tactic. OPSEU has negotiated terms and conditions of employment that you have had participation in from setting bargaining demands to change the collective agreement through to the final ratification of your working conditions.  It is not much different if  you have entered into an agreement with your neighbour about how a fence line is to be managed and respected. If you choose to not exercise your negotiated RIGHTS, well, I guess your neighbour ‘wins’.

DOING SOME RESEARCH

A workbook has been prepared for Support Staff employees in the OPSEU bargaining unit who believe their position description has been improperly classified and/or otherwise misrepresents the duties and responsibilities that has been assigned to them.

The use of this workbook is to assist the employee and the Local Union Representative in discovering the facts about their current Position Description Form (PDF) and prepare vital information about their job in order to properly support their job evaluation grievance.  It is common to spend dozens of hours in preparation.  This workbook is designed to keep the worker on track and focused to the issues they are in dispute over with the employer.

In addition to this workbook the worker will also need a copy of the collective agreement, the current position description form, the job evaluation manual for support staff and a grievance form.  These documents are available from the Local Union Office.

In order to get the official PDF, you will need to ask human resources for a copy, and at the same time request the job evaluation information about your position.  This is under article 7.2 and 7.2.1 of the collective agreement.  A memo sent to HR should say something like “please provide me with a copy of my position description form along with the job evaluation information as per article 7.2 and 7.2.1 of the collective agreement.”

WHAT IS A JOB EVALUATION GRIEVANCE

A job evaluation grievance happens when an employee claims that his/her assigned job is improperly stated in the PDF and/or the factor ratings have been miscalculated resulting in a lower payband than the employee believes is correct for the position.  It is the employer’s right and responsibility to assign work to their employees.  In doing so however the employer must document their right to assign work in the Position Description Form (PDF) and this document must indicate all key elements about the job.  PDFs should be reviewed at least every two years to ensure the document is current.  If an activity or level of responsibility is not reflected in the PDF, the employer will not have considered it in rating the job. Therefore it is very important that when you review the PDF, you ensure that everything is included because one of the very first things that must happen in the step one grievance meeting is a declaration from you stating in writing whether you agree or disagree with the PDF that has been provided to you.

On your job evaluation grievance form, you will need to be able to specify the payband you believe your job should be placed in.  In order to do that, you will need to analyze your PDF along with other information you may have.  Here is a link to a zip file containing the Job Evaluation workbook, the How to Write a PDF manual and Job Evaluation manual. These will have the necessary factor charts to help you evaluate your PDF.

Situations that are probably not the subject of a job evaluation grievance are as follows:

  1. When the employee is seeking a general pay increase.  General pay increases are negotiated between the Union and the Council of Compensation and Appointments.
  2. The employee feels they deserve more pay because they are a hard worker. The college system does not have a merit system of pay for performance.
  3. The employee has reached the maximum level of the pay grid that the position is assigned to.  The employer values the work that is assigned in a PDF at the job rate for the position.  Employees who first go into the position do not receive the job rate but receive a rate of pay lower and progress to the job rate.  The employer does this because they feel they need not pay the employee the full rate for the position while the employee is still “learning” the job.
  4. The employee compares rates of pay to other jurisdictions in the public and private sectors.  Again, these kinds of situations are claims that are more properly addressed at the provincial bargaining table between the Parties to the collective agreement.
  5. The employee believes they are doing the same kind of work as a co-worker who is receiving a higher payband.  It is very difficult to make these kinds of comparisons because what is rated is each PDF against the Manual, not position to position.

Should you decide to grieve your PDF your first step should be to contact a steward or you VP Grievance. See opseu245.org for contact information.

In Solidarity,

Jay Jackson
President, OPSEU Local 245

This is my first installment on what I hope to be an informative blog as your local President.  Your Executive is enthused and ready to go also.

Part Time Campaign:   I hear the part-time college workers organizing campaign is really picking up steam, and will be moving into the next phase very soon.  Currently card signing is coming to a conclusion and efforts are being made to have the Council of Compensation and Appointments provide voluntary recognition.  Also the Union is lobbying the provincial government to bring forth amends to the College’s Collective Bargaining Act in order to right this now legally declared wrong by the Supreme Court of Canada that bars part time workers from forming a union.

Collective Bargaining:  Well, it has begun with the view to renew our current collective agreement which expires August 31st of this year.  You can read the more detailed information on this web site and also you will be seeing the local’s mobilizers on the workplace speaking to you in small groups and individually.  We have done this before and it has proven to be very successful in assisting with the bargaining goals the membership has mandated our bargaining team to achieve.

Knowing your Contract:   I know probably most of you do not carry around your collective agreement all the times, checking and/or confirming if the employer is managing within the rules they have agreed to.  As part of this ongoing blog, I will be writing about certain articles in the agreement that seem to be questioned more than others.  Given the very public nature of a blog, anything I write will be on a without prejudice basis since I would not want the employer producing this blog in a future arbitration.

Day of Mourning:  This April 28, is the National Day of Mourning.  More than twenty years ago the Canadian Labour Congress declared April 28 a National Day of Mourning for workers who have been killed, suffer disease or injury as a result of work. Every year since, unions, labour councils, families and community partners gather by the thousands to ‘mourn for the dead’. What began through the efforts of Canada’s labour movement is now observed in more than 100 countries. This nationally recognized day locally is recognized at the monument in downtown Oakville by the main library at 6pm.  Local 245 annually lays a wreath at the ceremony along with other labour unions.  Following the formal portion of the event, refreshments and food will be served.  See you there!

Jay Jackson