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Open letter to Peel CAS employees - October 19, 2016

We are disappointed that we were not able reach an agreement with your bargaining committee on Tuesday, October 11. During the 12 hour meeting, the two groups met and good progress was made on a number of items. We were hopeful that an agreement was in sight and that we could get you back to the important job you do with children and families.

It is, and continues to be, our goal to reach a negotiated collective agreement.  Our aim is a collective agreement that is both fair to you and meets the agency’s mandate and financial constraints of a balanced budget. 

There are now two outstanding items that remain to be negotiated: job reclassification/evaluation and workload. Although the discussion between the two bargaining committees on these two items is about language in the collective agreement, job reclassification/evaluation will have a financial impact and raise our costs beyond what we receive in funding.

Job Reclassification/evaluation - Currently Peel CAS has a process in place to evaluate new and changing positions which includes input from the union.  

  • During negotiations we agreed to language to strengthen the union’s input into new job classifications which includes the union’s right to file a grievance, if they disagree with the evaluation and to ultimately have it settled by an arbitrator.

 

  • A new proposal was brought forth by your bargaining committee at the end of the day on October 11 for the agency to evaluate/reclassify the job of five employee groups.  This proposal affects about 80 employees and the cost of reclassifying these employees is an additional $1 million.  This is a cost the agency cannot take on.

 

Workload - We recognize that child protection work is complex and that managing workload is important.

  • Through much discussion between our two bargaining committees we have agreed to the current workload ranges and are working to try to enhance the workload/caseload review process.

 

  • Our proposal to your bargaining committee was that team leaders/supervisors will review workload/caseload during regular supervision (at least once a month) to determine whether a workload assessment is required.  As per the current collective agreement, at any time, workers may also initiate workload/caseload assessment if they feel workload is unmanageable.

 

  • Given the nature of our work, anything beyond monthly workload assessment process would quickly become unmanageable.

 

We want you to come back to work.  We believe we have gone a long way to meeting the proposals of your bargaining committee in our recent amendments and proposals.  As well, our final offer of September 14 included wage increases and improvements to benefits including mileage, cell phone and family leave in each year of the three year contract.  Also included in this offer was a lump sum payment of $750.

We hope when you see the offer in its entirety you will feel it is fair to you while enabling the agency to meet its mandate and financial constraints of a balanced budget.

Sincerely,

Rav Bains, Chief Executive Officer