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Mediated OPS bargaining resumes Saturday

Publish date: Wednesday, September 21, 2022 update

Our Future. Ontario's Future. Bargaining 2022

Bargaining for a new contract for AMAPCEO members in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) will resume this week, members learned on a union town hall held over the noon-hour last Wednesday.

During the Town Hall, which was attended by more than 2,000 members in the OPS, AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer and Vice-President Cynthia Watt provided an update on negotiations so far and fielded members’ questions.

Bulmer and Watt explained that the union and the OPS Employer are still far apart on the issue of alternative work arrangements, and access to hybrid work in particular. It will be the primary focus when mediated negotiations resume on Saturday.

“Your union’s leadership and your bargaining team are being innovative and pragmatic at the same time,” Bulmer said. “They are doing their best to benefit members to the greatest extent possible in what are difficult times.”

Bulmer and Watt also reminded members that AMAPCEO is bargaining under the “dark shadow” of the government’s unconstitutional Bill 124. This legislation unfairly limits public sector workers’ compensation increases to a maximum of one per cent a year for three years—including for unionized workers as their contracts expire.

“It means we cannot negotiate for anything more than 1% across-the-board increases,” Bulmer explained. “But it is important to note that individual merit pay is unaffected by Bill 124.”

The union is a member of a coalition fighting Bill 124 at the Superior Court of Justice with a constitutional challenge, but Bulmer pointed it out the case could take some time.

“While we are confident Bill 124 will be struck down, just as similar legislation has in the past,” Bulmer said, “it will take several months or maybe even years for our case to be decided.”

As the OPS Bargaining Team and the OPS Employer resume talks later this week, union leadership encouraged members in the OPS to continue to show support for their bargaining team.

“Our goal is to secure a fair and flexible deal—one that recognizes our hard work over the past few years and makes gains in spite of the disrespectful wage restraint caused by Bill 124,” Watt said. “And the only way we can do this is by standing together and demonstrating our collective strength.”

Workplace actions include taking a full 45-minute lunch break, using virtual backgrounds during meetings and the AMAPCEO logo in email signatures, and displaying union swag.

Answers to members’ frequently asked questions about OPS bargaining are available on the union’s website. A recording of the Town Hall is also available.

Bulmer and Watt also fielded members’ questions on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and the Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Health (Quality Unit); Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).