5/4/10

First major settlement after 'compensation freeze' announcement by government

The 1,350 member OPSEU group representing employees at the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) has a tentative settlement of its contract dispute. The settlement allows for no general wage increases.   This is the first major broader public sector settlement (for a non-municipal group) since the McGuinty government announced its compensation freeze March 25. 

Prior to the Budget’s proposed compensation freeze MPAC had proposed a wage increase. That offer was withdrawn.  OPSEU states: “Despite an OLRB ruling that said MPAC wasn’t affected by the provincial freeze, MPAC would not move off of their zero wage increase position. The team then concentrated on making improvements in other areas of the contract.”

OPSEU’s president Smokey Thomas stated: “We know that MPAC members deserve an increase, but it became obvious that strike action would be needed, and under the circumstances the odds of success were slim. What are NOT in this agreement are many of the employer’s takeaways, the biggest of which was their plan to create a part-time workforce in MPAC.”

There are some modest changes in the benefits - -but the changes are cost neutral.   OPSEU does not flag any major non-monetary item achieved in exchange for the compensation freeze.

With the exception of the SEIU central agreement, all of the major health care central agreements in Ontario are complete. ONA is the first group to open up again, with their contract expiring in 2011.

dallan@cupe.ca

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