Hello fellow OPSEU members, I hope everyone has been keeping well. I write you today to inform everyone of our upcoming general membership meeting on Thursday February 16th, 2023 start time 6pm, located at the Columbus club of Niagara 6990 Stanley Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7B7. We will again and when able to do so provide the meetings via zoom as well. We kindly ask members sign in early before the start of the meeting so we may verify who you are. The Zoom meeting I.D. number is 845 5089 4705. The agenda will be: updates on the upcoming season, contract status, arbitration dates, new steward nominations, nominations and election for Delegates for the Annual OPSEU Convention held in April (3 delegates in total) and of course our 10 $50 draws. I look forward to seeing you there.
I have received a few messages asking if I could clarify how some of our language works, so I've decided that actually many if not all members could benefit from this. Below I have addressed in brief some of these.
Never be afraid to act on issues, as a union member you are protected under the "No Discrimination" article in the Collective Agreement. You cannot be punished for filing a grievance.
I have been asked for a "guide on how things work" document. What I can tell you is the best reference is our collective agreement. Yes we currently are not in possession of a copy of the current collective agreement but the changes can be found on our opseu217 website under Proposed New Contract link. I can tell you the current collective agreement is at the printers now so we should see them soon. The collective agreement outlines everything you as a union member are entitled to. I do understand that this document can be confusing but the more you read it the more you will understand. Please take the time to read the language, this eliminates confusion and rumours. I am pleased to say your bargaining team spent many days negotiating with management to completely restructure the CA. Once the new CA arrives you will see it flows a lot smoother, now making what you are looking for easier to find. After reading up on a potential issue and you are still unsure what to do, call me.
As for filing a grievance and the procedure, this also is outlined in the CA under "Grievance Procedure". I have been asked to put together a simplified way of understanding the grievance procedure and how to go about a potential issue, I think it is a great idea so stay tuned for that! If you are not sure if you have a potential grievance, please reach out to us. Please keep in mind time lines are important, once you become aware of something you need to act. I am a firm believer communication is key, if you think something is not fair or doesn't make sense talk to you supervisors or managers, they may not even be aware of the issue, it may be easily corrected or it may possibly be a learning opportunity for both member and management. I understand approaching management may seem intimidating but if you are planning on having a healthy work environment a positive working relationship must be established. If this may be hard to accomplish then at least the line of communication must not breakdown, nothing good will come of it. Here in OPSEU at the Park we do not go looking for trouble, we simply ask that our agreement is followed and we are able to work in a harassment free environment.
I have said it numerous times before and I will keep saying it. If you have concerns please do not hesitate to call or email me, you may also contact a member of our local executive. My phone number is 905-321-5677 email: firstname.lastname@example.org