Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

September 15, 2008 14:16 ET

Ontario Government Violated Labour Laws; OPSEU Seeks $5 Million in Damages

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2008) - The Ontario government violated its own labour laws by entering into an illegal agreement with an association representing its supervisors, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union has charged.

The government backtracked from discussions with OPSEU to modernize its labour relations, and instead signed an agreement with the association representing its supervisors that will restructure the Ontario Public Service and affect the rights of OPSEU members.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said he was very disappointed with the actions of the McGuinty Liberal government. "The whole thing was a charade. They obviously went into these consultations with a pre-determined outcome. If this is a harbinger of what's coming, Ontario is in for a rough ride in labour negotiations this winter."

In August, the Ontario government has convened consultations with all bargaining agents representing its employees, including OPSEU, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, and the Association of Management, Administrative and Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO) and the Professional Engineers. Among other proposals, the government sought to bring in consultants to update its Information Technology systems.

At the talks, the government proposed a series of changes as their "leading option," which they then backtracked on. On Sept, 10, the same day that the Government reneged on its "leading option," they signed a backroom deal with AMAPCEO that included changes that would affect OPSEU's jurisdiction, plus give the association a veto on any proposed legislation.

OPSEU has filed an unfair labour practice charge, demanding that Ontario Labour Relations Board declare the agreement invalid and pay $5 million in damages to the union. OPSEU has also filed numerous policy grievances covering the work of thousands of outside non-union contractors the government has hired.

OPSEU will be entering into contract negotiations with the government for about 45,000 provincial employees later this fall.

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    Paul Bilodeau
    (416) 443-8888 Ext. 8780