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Posted on 09-02-2008 under Bargaining, General Discussion

Here is quick point form notes on the tentative settlement between Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)  CAAT-S representing college support staff and theCollege Compensation and Appointment Council representing the 24 colleges in Ontario,.

  • Three year deal
  • Wage increase of 3, 3, 3
  • $425 Special Allowance introduced for anyone that has over 6 months service, paid the last cheque before December 1st this year, and then the last cheque before September 1st every year after
  • Special Allowance for those over 10 years service increase to $825 per year, paid on the last cheque before Sept.1.  This year the extra $425 will be paid on the last cheque before December 1st.
  • On average the introduction and the increase of the special allowance works out to a .86% increase, add that with the percentage increase and that equals an average 3.86% increase in the first year.  This increase is the highest increase that we have seen in pure wages (not using the wage grids) since 1990.
  • The Wages and Benefits Comparison letter is no longer in the offer.
  • The introduction of an Initiatives/Opportunities letter of Understanding, Fixed Term positions. The difference between the Fixed Term positions management wanted and what we agreed to is as follows: 
    1.  All of these positions must be brought to the Local before introduction, the College must tell us the rationale behind why such position is needed
    2. These positions cannot extend past 24 months unless extended by the Local
    3. These positions must be posted, and consideration must be given to internal applicants first (this provides for Professional development opportunities)
    4. An appendix D employee must fill any vacancy that has been created if a full time employee is the successful candidate
    5. Internal employees that have been selected for these positions will have the right to return back to their former position, once the term is over
    6. All employees under this will receive all rights and entitlements under the Collective Agreement except for bumping rights.
  • The introduction of Family Day
  • Increases to shift premiums
  • Increase in Dental  coverage
  • Increase in Spousal and Dependent Insurance
  • Increase in Vision Care
  • Increase in Safety Footwear
  • Renewal of the Contracting out letter
  • A commitment to look at Tuition Re-imbursement policies across all Colleges
  • The introduction of historical Bullying/Psychological Harassment language (the first of it’s kind in the public service in Ontario, and we believe it is the first of it’s kind in the province.)

5 comments so far.

On Sep 02 2008 @ 10:26, Penguin said: |

I will start the discussion. Let me give you my initial emotional response. I viewed wage increase parity with the faculty as the pivotal negotiating point. A parity increase was the recognition that the staff are valued equally in the eyes of our employer. A 4% increase and we achieved the recognition we deserve, anything less and we failed. I am not doing the creative math to factor in the special allowance for a variety of reasons. In my eyes success lied in achieving a 4% increase universally for all bargaining unit employes. It is the symbolic power of that number and what it represented that was important for me.

On Sep 04 2008 @ 13:54, buster said: |

Penguin, I am inclined to agree with you. 4% is the magic number. I recall the passionate arguments made by the bargaining team reps at our local meeting and the strong arguments laid out in the Bargaining Bulletins they published. The special allowance works out to about .63% in my case and that loses value with each year so ok, thanks, nice signing bonus, but a long way from parity with our peers.

The increases in benefits were all in the June 12th offer and at that time the team reps dismissed them as “costing the colleges nothing.” All I see that is different from the offer we were asked to reject is the special allowance, the removal of the outside comparison piece and the third year.

I have to wonder and I will ask when I get the chance, what changed the minds of the bargaining team.

On Sep 15 2008 @ 15:20, dwjdwj said: |

The symbolic power of the number 4, while fascinating, does nothing to further the argument. This process is about negotiating; bargaining to get our members the best deal possible in the current financial situation. To ignore all the benefits of this deal, while holding out for a symbolic increase, is shortsighted.

On Sep 17 2008 @ 12:02, Penguin said: |

I will respond to your post. A four percent increase was both symbolic and meaningful. It states that we are the least valued compensated group in the college system. If for arguments sake we remove the percentage and special allowance increase from the discussion, what other positive benefits can you find in this tentative settlement? Fixed Term Appointments? That alone should cause you concern if you are farsighted.

On Sep 17 2008 @ 15:07, dwjdwj said: |

If 3% alone makes you feel like one of the least valued members, then I cannot relate to your employment conditions in any way as I have never felt that way. I find the increases to our benefits package more than acceptable, and as a user of these benefits they factor heavily into what I consider my income. And why are you so quick to dimiss the special allowance increase from the discussion. I would imagine it is quite important and symbolic to a great many people. Of course the deal is not perfect. But it more than satisfies me.





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