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Fixed-Term Employees (OPS)

Contents

Introduction

Salary and merit

Opting into health and dental benefits

Opting into the pension plan

Vacation

Full-time fixed-term (contract) employees

Part-time fixed-term (contract) employees

Sick days and attendance credits

Pregnancy and parental leave

Conversion (or “rollover”) to permanent

Ending your contract

If your contract ends and you leave the OPS

Co-op students 

If you have questions or need assistance

Resources


Introduction

As an AMAPCEO member in the Ontario Public Service (OPS), you make a difference every day, serving Ontario’s communities by providing non-partisan expertise to the government of the moment.

You and your colleagues keep pace with the changing needs of the government and the public they serve. But working contract after contract after contract is unfair.

That’s why AMAPCEO has negotiated clear rights for fixed-term employees, including rules on converting contracts into permanent positions. This provides you with a greater degree of stability and alleviates the negative effects of precarious employment.

This is good for public services, too—ensuring Ontarians are served by knowledgeable professionals with an ever-growing body of experience.


Salary and merit

During your contract, you are eligible for:

  • any across-the-board increases to your salary, and
  • an annual merit increase of up to 5%.

For the purposes of merit, your anniversary date is the first day of the month closest to the appointment date of your current fixed-term position.

For more information, see our fact sheet on salary and merit.


Opting into health and dental benefits

You will receive an extra 4% in pay in lieu of benefits.

However, within the first 60 business days from your contract start date, you have the option to also opt into the OPS benefits plan.

If you do not enrol during the open enrolment window or following initial appointment, you may elect to enrol within 31 days of marriage, or the birth or adoption of a child.

All current FXT employees who did not opt into the benefits plan will have an additional 31-day window to do so, regardless of when their contract started. 

The plan covers prescription drug costs, hospital accommodation, and paramedical expenses, and has optional vision and hearing and dental benefits packages. You can choose individual or family coverage.

If you opt in, you will:

  • be covered for the duration of your fixed-term contract and any subsequent contracts that are not interrupted by a break longer than 13 weeks;
  • pay 100% of the monthly premiums, the amount of which will be based on the level of coverage you select, and if you choose individual or family coverage;
  • be automatically enrolled in the employee-paid Catastrophic Drug Coverage (CDC) plan, which provides 100% coverage for eligible drug expenses above an annual threshold of $10,000; and
  • not be able be opt back out.

For more information:


Opting into the pension plan

You have the option of joining the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), administered by the Ontario Pension Board, at any time during your contract.

However, choosing to defer joining the PSPP may impact your pension on retirement. It may:

  • cost you more to purchase credit for prior non-contributory employment;
  • cause you to miss the deadline to transfer credit from another plan; and/or
  • prevent you from attaining enough credit to qualify for insured benefits on retirement.

You may wish to consult a qualified financial advisor when making your decision.

For more information, visit the Ontario Pension Board website.


Vacation

Full-time fixed-term (contract) employees

Immediately upon hire, you will be advanced 3.75 vacation credits—which is three full months’ worth. 

After three full months of service, you will continue to earn 1.25 vacation credits for each full month of service (at work, on vacation, or on paid leave). This works out to 15 working days (three weeks) each year. You will not accumulate credits while on an unpaid leave.

Credits will be deducted from the 3.75 advanced credits if you do not meet the attendance thresholds for a particular month during your first three full months of employment (i.e., if you are on an unpaid leave).

Credits will be pro-rated for part-time FXT employees.

Your vacation credits will not expire as long as you are continuously employed in the OPS, and you can carry forward any amount of credits.

If you have not yet completed six months of service in the OPS:

  • you cannot begin to use your vacation credits; and
  • if you leave the OPS, you will receive 4% in pay in lieu of vacation.

Currently you must complete six months of service in the OPS before you can begin to use your vacation credits. However, effective January 1, 2023, you will be able to use your vacation credits from the first month of employment.

If you leave the OPS, you will be paid out for your unused vacation credits.

In reviewing your vacation request, your manager may consider operational requirements, but not unreasonably deny your request.

Part-time fixed-term (contract) employees

You will receive an extra 4% in pay in lieu of vacation.


Sick days and attendance credits

You are not eligible for the Short-Term Sickness Plan. Instead, you will accumulate attendance credits, which you can use as sick days, during your contract.

Immediately upon hiring, you will be advanced 3.75 attendance credits—which is three full months’ worth. 

After three full months of service, you will continue to earn 1.25 attendance credits for each full month of service (at work, on vacation, or on paid leave).

Credits will be deducted from the 3.75 advanced credits if you do not meet the attendance thresholds for a particular month during your first full three months of employment (i.e., you are on an unpaid leave).

For more information, see our fact sheet on sick days, attendance credits, and the Short-Term Sickness Plan.


Pregnancy and parental leave

  • Your leave will be unpaid, though you may receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
  • You should not resign your position to start a pregnancy or parental leave. Instead, you should seek a pregnancy and/or parental leave from your position.
  • If your contract is longer than your leave, you can return to your position after your leave.
  • If your contract expires while you are on leave, the expiry date of your contract will become your layoff date. This is important because your two-year access to internal postings is counted from this date.

For more information, see our fact sheet on pregnancy and parental leave.


Conversion (or “rollover”) to permanent

If you have been in your position for at least 18 months, and certain conditions are met, your Employer must offer to convert you into the position on a permanent basis.

For more information, see our fact sheet on conversion (or rollover).


Ending your contract

Your fixed-term contract will include the date your contract will end.

Your Employer is not required to provide you further notice of termination if:

  • they stick to that date (known as the “date of layoff”); and
  • your contract is for 12 months or less.

Your Employer must provide you notice of termination if:

  • your contract is for longer than 12 months; or
  • your contract is terminated before its term expires; or
  • your employment continues for more than three months after your contract ended.

The notice of termination must be between two and eight weeks, depending on the length of your employment. However, because the OPS is such a large employer, if 500 or more employees are being laid off within a four-week period, you will receive 16 weeks of notice.

Your Employer may choose to provide you a notice of termination when your contract is offered or extended.

If your contract ends and you leave the OPS

You will have access to internal OPS job postings for two years from your date of layoff.

If you don’t have access to these postings, please contact your Employer’s Recruitment Consultant or Human Resources Advisor.

Co-op students

Co-op students will now be entitled to apply to restricted job competitions for 12 months after their final contract expires.


If you have questions or need assistance

Please contact an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative in your District. They do not have to be in your Ministry.

Workplace Representatives are trained union members who have volunteered to confidentially assist members like you in the workplace. They should be your first point of contact in seeking information and representation with an issue at work.

Your Workplace Representative may ask you to use the union’s secure web-based system, RADAR, to provide details about your situation. RADAR will help you and your Workplace Representative keep track of things without the privacy concerns that could come from using the Employer’s email system.


Resources

Town Halls

AMAPCEO occasionally hosts Town Halls for fixed-term, contract, and temporary members. Subscribe to updates to receive invitations to these events.

Updates

Fact Sheet

Bargaining Unit: Ontario Public Service (OPS)

First Published: December 3, 2020

Last Updated: November 23, 2022

Contact a Workplace Representative

See more Ontario Public Service Fact Sheets