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  • 1. Social Services News Community Services Divisional Council Winter2012 Spring 2011Message from the CSD ChairThe Drummond Report commissioned by the Ontario Government was released onFebruary 15, 2012. It begins by stating that: “Ontarians want excellent public services from For members in:their government…with the proviso that they must come at a cost Ontarians can afford”. The“overarching tasks” of the report include “sharpen(ing) the efficiency of literally everything Developmental Sector 2the government does so Ontarians get the greatest value for money from the taxes they pay.” Services Children’s Aid Sector 4Community and Social Services recommendations are included in Chapter 8 and Labour SocietiesRelations and Compensation can be found in Chapter 15. While Drummond appears toacknowledge the challenge of finding the “right funding mix” (and formula) between Community Sector 5“entitlement based” social programs (OW, ODSP and Ontario Child Benefit) and Services“discretionary based” programs (DS, Child Protection, CYMH, Childcare, Youth Justice and“other services”), his proposed solutions suggest there will be a narrowing of the definition Youth Corrections Sector 7of “entitlement” for discretionary based programs through increased use of inclusion and/or exclusionary criteria for the public not-for-profit services we provide. This will likely have Child Treatment Sector 15the real effect of rationing available services to Ontarians, and further downloading financialand emotional/mental costs onto Ontarian families who do not “qualify” for publicly fundedservices. It appears that the push towards utilizing common centralized assessment tools andoutcome measures in our Sectors to determine who “qualifies” for “what” will continue. Thebelief that this will allow for greater “choice” and “control” for individuals and their familiesremains to be seen.The report also suggests that alternative bargaining models be investigated along with the Social Services Indexstrong message that amalgamations and mergers within our Sectors continue. OPSEU hasbeen working for many years on strengthening coordinated bargaining models within ourSectors (Developmental Services, Child Protection and Children’s Treatment). Provincial SECTOR UPDATESDiscussion Tables have already begun in the Developmental Services and Child Protection BARGAINING HIGHLIGHTSSectors. We anticipate that further discussions with government with a focus on improvedlabour relations within our Sectors will be a priority should the recommendations in Chapter LEGISLATION15 of the Drummond Report be accepted. PENSIONSThe full report can be found at: HEALTH & SAFETYI encourage our CSDC membership to review it and begin discussions at the local levelabout potential impacts on our services and how they are provided.The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus stated: “Nothing endures but change.” We who work inCommunity and Social Services can certainly relate to this philosophy, as many of us cannotrecall a time when we were not in some form of system “reform”! However, in accepting thisphilosophy, we can anticipate, prepare for and respond to whatever is ahead through collectivenetworking and bargaining effective collective agreements that will ensure “excellent publicservices” endure for the years ahead. Authorized for distribution byIn Solidarity, Warren (Smokey) ThomasDeborah Gordon President, OPSEUCSDC Chair 1
  • 2. THE COMMISSION ON QUALITY PUBLIC SERVICES AND TAX FAIRNESS The Drummond Commission Stand Up Campaign The Drummond Commission report released February 16, 2012 recommended that the Ontario government “consolidate agencies and improve service delivery and integration both Thank you to all who made written submissions within the sector itself and with other sectors such as children’s or spoke at the hearings or town halls, which services, health, education, and youth justice.” This is part of were held in January and February of this the greater plan to centralize and integrate social services in year. The Commission on Quality Public Ontario. OPSEU responded to the Drummond Commission Services and Tax Fairness has compiled all the report by writing the paper Out of Step with Ontario: A information from the hearings in their report First Look at the Report of the Drummond Commission, Something to Value, which is available at: which can be downloaded from the OPSEU website. SECTOR 2: DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICESWe are OPSEU’s 8000 developmental service workers, representing one-third of Ontario’sDevelopmental Service workers. We have 66 bargaining units including 32 “CommunityLiving” chapters.Provincial Discussion Table (PDT):The PDT met its unfortunate end on May 5th 2011. Despite the Ministry and Unions beingclear that discussions at the table are about unionized members only, the employer groupdid not agree and wanted managers to be part of the discussions as well. www.standupontario.orgPattern Bargaining:With the end of PDT we made the obvious decision to return to pattern bargaining, inorder to continue to move the sector forward. This year continues to be a busy year for Developmental Services Worker Appreciation Day was marked onbargaining, since half of our units are at the table. January 19th and highlighted the need to “Stand Up for Developmental Services” as we face the threat ofCommunity Living Thunder Bay was the first contract ratified after the end of PDT and serious cuts in 2012.all Developmental Service locals were encouraged to accept no less than the terms ofthat agreement. Many locals have had success with achieving the standard set out in theThunder Bay agreement.Bargaining will continue to present its challenges in our current economic climate since the government is promotingausterity measures as the only solution. We need to continue to stand together and support each other. We are havingsuccess and making settlements due to the drive of our sector membership.Sector submission to the Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness:Our sector made a written submission to the Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness. We stressed theimportance of the value of our work and that consistent under funding to our sector makes it difficult for us provide qualitypublic services to support our clients.As the year moves forward we need to be cognizant of the of the challenges that will be thrown our way. We have to keepour lines of communication open as we learn of impeding mergers, layoffs and other workforce changes. 2
  • 3. SECTOR 4: CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETIES (CAS) Pink Shirt Day OPSEU members once again marked National Pink Shirt day on February 29 with the message that there is no place for bullying in our workplaces and communities. Members across the province marked the day by participating in local events and wearing their pink T-shirts.NUPGE Child Protection working groupJane Kaija, CAS Sector Chair and TracyMore, OPSEU Staff Negotiator attended theNUPGE Child Protection working group inOttawa on February 16th and 17th. Variousmembers working in child protection fromacross Canada also attended, representingBritish Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba,New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island,Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Eachprovince wrote a component report whichconsisted of Bargaining, Health & Safetyand also Campaigns related to Health &Safety and Workload. Not surprising ourcounterparts across the country echoed thesame issues. The final report is likely due outby May and will be shared with everyone. Nupge child protection working group, Ottawa Membership Dues The Agenda with Steve Paikin Secretary-Treasurer, Michael Rowan has sent The November 29th episode of the Agenda with Steve Paikin out a reminder to pay the dues for the year. entitled Fostering a Better Outcome brought to light the Please make your cheque payable to “Sector importance of our work. Importantly, it highlighted the fact that 4 CAS.” The cheque can be given to Michael if 10 per cent of our paperwork was taken away it would amount at convention or mailed to Michael at: to 1.2 million hours that could potentially be spent on frontline care. The episode can be viewed online at: http://theagenda. Michael Rowan, Secretary-Treasurer 104 Leona Street, Cornwall, ON K6H 5L7 3
  • 4. SECTOR 5: COMMUNITY AGENCIESLeadership training in JuneThe Sector 5 Community Agencies Executive Committeehas been hard at work over the past several monthsand we are excited to announce a leadership trainingconference June 8 – 10 in Toronto for Sector 5 activists.After mobilizing last May 2011 for Sector 5, membersexpressed that they felt disconnected from OPSEU as awhole. They said they needed training and to know howto access resources to better serve their members andthe union. COMMUNITY AGENCIESThis leadership training weekend is designed to helpall of you. You will come away with the tools to bettermobilize and build solidarity within your locals andbargaining units. You will also be able to network withother members who do the same type of work andstruggle with the same issues as you. Importantly, youwill all be connected.The training goal is to have each activist: 1. Understand OPSEU, its structure, and how to access resources within the union; 2. Know how to interpret your contract; 3. Know steward rights and responsibilities, and how to handle grievances; 4. Know how to mobilize your local. You will map out your local and leave with a plan to get your members engaged and connected; and, 5. Walk away with a folder filled with resources.Although the goal is to educate members in sector 5, there will be opportunities to network with other members. We willbe hosting a wine and cheese social on the Saturday evening.Up to three people per bargaining unit can attend. It will work best if two stewards and a new activist come as a team.Space is limited and we encourage you to speak to others in your bargaining unit and get your applications in as quickly aspossible.To obtain an application please contact Michelle Norman at or 1-800-268-7376 Survey Results Thank you to all who completed the Sector 5 survey online or by mail. We had a fantastic response and we will be sharing the results at our Sector 5 caucus meeting at the OPSEU convention on Thursday April 19th. Our Sector 5 caucus meeting will also include a 40-minute presentation on the new BPS Pension Plan-TOPPS. All Sector 5 members at convention are encouraged to attend. 4
  • 5. SECTOR 7: JUSTICE Justice Sector News from Sector Executive Welcome to our newest members Congratulations to our newest members from the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa. Our new 39-member bargaining unit will be part of OPSEU local 479. Frontline-staff include counselors and residential support workers that provide practical and effective support for women incarcerated in provincial and federal institutions. We understand the unique problems faced by members working in the criminal justice system and as such these new members will receive excellent representation.The impact of the Drummond Report on theJustice SectorThe importance of province wide coordinated bargaining was underscored with the recent releaseof the Drummond report, which advised the Ontario government on cuts to public services andpensions. The attack on public services threatens us all, but for many members in our sector thisthreat is deeper, since there is no recognition that our compensation and working conditions arealready below what are considered acceptable standards. With the implementation of Drummond’srecommendations there will be pressure to force amalgamations and closures and also reducebenefits and wages, ultimately resulting in greater disparities in our sector. The impact is alreadybeing felt with the recent closure of Salvation Army Booth House, an open custody unit. Now is thetime to take a stand together and protect the quality public services that we provide.Stay tuned for a campaignThe general public is mostly unaware that not all public services are created equally. As frontline staff in the Justice sectorwe deal with some of the highest- risk youth in Ontario. We cannot run away from dangerous situations. We are forced todeal with violent and traumatic scenarios that the general public is unaware of. However, despite the risk and involvementlevel of our work, many of our members make little above minimum wage and are required to have a three-year Child andYouth Worker diploma at minimum. We are devising a campaign to create awareness around this issue. Please stay tunedfor more information. Your opinion Increasing solidarity within please our sector We want to improve our One of our sectors goals is to continue to build solidarity in our sector and to communications network and educate the general public about the issues affecting our frontline staff. We are asking BPS Corrections have excellent, caring, highly-educated, underpaid frontline staff working in members to send their personal very stressful working environments in an effort to help rehabilitate violent secure email address to our and repeat criminal offenders. For many of us our work is not just a job, it is sector executive email address a career choice. However, the public services our members provide cannot operate with further wage or benefit cuts. We have already gone several Feel free to email us ideas, years without increases. As we get closer to our first attempt at coordinated concerns and stories. bargaining in 2013, we will be increasing our lobbying efforts and promoting our sector wherever possible. 5
  • 6. SECTOR 15: CHILD TREATMENTFinding the “Right Mix”OPSEU’s Children’s Treatment SectorMembers understand that for us to doour jobs well, it is essential to maintain ahealthy work-life balance. Our Kids MatterCampaign promotes the principles of“stability” and “help kids can count on”as being key ingredients to being effectivein the work we do. These principlesare supported by research regardingContinuity of Care and Timeliness ofService Response to children, youth andtheir families. These principles just asimportantly apply to good labour relationsand strong collective agreement language.System Transformation creates challengesto find “balance” and the “right mix” ofaccountability in “client care” (work) and“self care” (life). Catepillar Strike Demo in London - CTS Activists are from L145 in the picture (L-R: Libby Ells, Tina McIntosh and Deb Gordon)If government accepts therecommendations from the Drummondreport in respect to CYMH and Labour Relations reform, further amalgamations and mergers will likely be in ourcollective future. As well, there is a possibility that alternative bargaining structures will be employed and we need tobe ready to ensure the “right mix” in addressing work-life balance is achieved. It will be important for us to have a goodunderstanding of the challenges facing our present workforce, what is working and what needs to be addressed within acollective bargaining environment.At the BPS Conference held in June 2011, the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) was piloted with theCSD membership in attendance. COPSOQ is a validated questionnaire developed in Denmark that evaluates relatedsources of work place stress to self-reported health symptoms. It considers such factors as Work Environment, PersonalHealth and Well-Being, Work Effects on personal/ family life and the effects of conflict and offensive behaviours in theworkplace.We will be reviewing the preliminary COPSOQ results at Convention during our CTS Caucus meeting. This is the firststep in engaging our members in the importance of participating in this project. We are working with Terri Aversa(OPSEU Health and Safety) and believe that the information gained through your participating will help us all prepare forthe work ahead. Stay tuned and get involved! Upcoming meeting dates: BPS Chairs Meeting June 11th and 12th CTS Executive Meeting June 13th and 14th 6
  • 7. SECTOR 15: CHILD TREATMENT CTS Local 666: Child and Family Centre of SudburyOPSEU Local 666 strike boosts job security andwork-life balanceAs proud members of OPSEU Local 666 and frontline staff at theChild and Family Centre of Sudbury, we took a united stand inour strike a few months ago. We were off the job for 19 days inNovember and December. We were forced to go on strike towin contract language on job security and work-life balance forfrontline workers.With 83 members in three towns in the Greater Sudbury area, westayed in touch by email and our closed Facebook page. Despitethe distance, we maintained solidarity among our members inEspanola, Manitoulin Island, and Chapleau.There were other contributions to our success. Our members puttogether a video now on YouTube. We had regular media coverageand support from parents, the public, other OPSEU locals and alsothe OPSEU executive board members, staff representatives andother staff.We are now back at work and dealing with the after-effects ofthe strike. However, I am glad we stood up together for what we Local 666 Child and Familythought we were entitled to because we matter just as much as Centre of Sudbury are thekid’s matter. proud recipients of the 2012 Leah Cassleman AwardRachelle LacosteLocal 666 steward and CTS vice-chair 7
  • 8. GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION (how it affects you and your work)College of Registered Psychotherapists andRegistered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario(CRPRMHTO) UpdateWill the CRPRMHTO affect you and your job? The mandate of the College is to protect the public through regulation ofthose who practice psychotherapy across the Province.Who is excluded from having to be a member of this new College? Those individuals who are already a member of: theCollege of Physcians and Surgeons of Ontario, The College of Nurses of Ontario, the College of Psychologists of Ontario,The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario and the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers ofOntario following amendments made to their respective Regulatory College language.What does “practice of Psychotherapy” mean as defined by Bill 171 legislation?If your job duties meet the following criteria/definitions you will likely be required to be a member of theCRPRMHTO:From Bill 171Definitions in Code(3) Definitions in the Health Professions Procedural Code apply with necessary modifications to terms in this Act. a) Scope of practice: The practice of psychotherapy is the assessment and treatment of cognitive, emotional or behavioural disturbances by psychotherapeutic means, delivered through a therapeutic relationship based primarily on verbal or non-verbal communication. b) Authorized (Controlled) Act “In the course of engaging in the practice of psychotherapy, a member is authorized, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to treat, by means of psychotherapy technique delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning”.The RHPA (Regulated Health Professions Act) states that: • unregulated individuals may not perform restricted activities/controlled acts. • Members of regulated health professions may perform only those controlled acts authorized for their professionOnce enacted, this legislation will likely change the landscape for some of the job postings across the sector to includeaffiliation requirements (and the cost of annual fees to belong to the college). OPSEU submitted a brief under Bill 71 on the scope of the legislation andthe impact on the social services sector. For more information please visit: www.collegeofpsychotherapists.on.caThe work of the Transitional Council of the CRPRMHTO continues. As noted on their website:1. The draft Registration Regulation was approved by Council on December 8, 2011 for submission to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. • Under development for almost two years and draft underwent two rounds of stakeholder consultation last year. • Stakeholder feedback resulted in changes to the draft regulation. • a number of minor changes were made, as well as two more significant changes: a) an additional condition was added for independent practice by Registered Mental Health Therapists; and b) the words “aboriginal healing” were changed to “indigenous practice”.Feedback on these changes was to be submitted by stakeholders between January 6th and March 5th.The Transitional Council plans to submit final drafts of regulations to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care after thepublic consultations and will be looking at registration in the fall of 2012. 8
  • 9. THE OPSEU PENSION PLAN SYSTEMThe OPSEU Pension Plan System (TOPPSFund) -A pension plan for the Broader Public SectorThe OPSEU Pension Plan System (TOPPSfund) was designed specifically to give OPSEU member’s and their families animportant source of financial protection — and a foundation for building a secure future.Some TOPPSfund features are: • Flexible contribution levels - Employee contribution levels start at an affordable 3% of wages. Employers must at a minimum match employee contributions. • Benefits are targeted - Pension benefits are based on a benefit formula taking into account things such as contribution history and years of plan participation. • Life/10 Guarantee - Your pension is payable for life and guaranteed for ten years. This means that if you die within the first ten years of retirement, your full pension payments will continue to be made for the remainder of those first ten years (the guarantee period). Thereafter, survivor benefits may apply. • Survivor Benefits - In the event of a pensioner’s death, after the guarantee period (see Life/10 Guarantee above), a surviving spouse will be eligible for survivor benefits of 60% of the pensioner’s benefit payable for their natural life. Other survivor benefit scenarios also apply depending on when death occurs, and the amount of continuous service in the Plan. • Optional part-time and casual employee participation - If you regularly work less than 24 hours per week, participate only if you qualify and want to! • Normal Retirement Age of 65 - With options to retire as early as age 55, and as late as age 71. • Buybacks - You can “buyback” up to 5 years of pre-membership service to build a bigger pension. • Joint Trusteeship - The Board of Trustees of TOPPSfund will be comprised of 50% Union Trustees and 50% Employer Representatives. Their role is to ensure that the Plan is well managed on behalf of individual members and Participating Employers. One of the Board’s key responsibilities is to choose the experts and other specialists required to help run the Plan and invest its assets, ensuring the long-term stability and growth of TOPPSfund. • Administration - TOPPSfund will be administered by Manion Wilkins and Associates Ltd., a Third Party Administrator who will be responsible for things such as signing up new members, receiving contributions from employers, answering questions and preparing annual pension statements. • Professionally managed assets - The assets of the TOPPSfund will be professionally managed in line with the Trustee’s Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures.Joining TOPPSfund is done through negotiations between OPSEU and Employers with OPSEU bargaining units.Once participation in the Plan and contribution levels have been agreed to, a Participation Agreement is signed. TheParticipation Agreement outlines the terms of participation in TOPPSfund, such as the negotiated contribution levels andtimeliness of remittances to the Plan.On a one-time basis, upon initial enrolment, non-union employees may also join TOPPSfund at the same contribution rateas OPSEU members.For more information, or to request a presentation on TOPPSfund, contact the OPSEU Resource Centre at1-800-268-7376 or E-mail: 9
  • 10. HEALTH SAFETYHealth Safety Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc.Work on “Stress” steams ahead!In the last edition we reported that a survey done at the 2011 BPS Conference showed that workplace burnout, stress, sleepdeprivation, excessive levels of bullying and harassment are taking their toll on members of OPSEU’s Community ServicesDivision.The Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) Questionnaire relates sources of stress (both workplace andhome) to symptoms and the general health that workers are experiencing. The questionnaire is used worldwide and has apopulation of data in Denmark to compare our results to. It provides a useful tool to see where efforts to improve should befocused. Our surveys showed very low trust in management, and low justice and respect. Our survey of our 153 delegatesshowed almost twice as much emotional demand in our jobs as the Danish population, not surprising because of the workwe do caring for people. Even worse, levels of workplace violence, threats of workplace violence and bullying are at least13 times greater for our sample as in Denmark’s data.After we reported these findings to survey participants, we got many calls and emails of members wanting to use theCOPSOQ at their workplaces. We’ve been waiting for the COPSOQ to be put online and for it to be paired with a resourceabout how to use it and how to develop a local action plan. These materials are going to be ready shortly and then we willmove ahead to collect more data within sectors, likely using one sector to start. We will also make the resources availableto locals and members who wish to do work on this issue in their workplaces. The COPSOQ collects data and identifies thetop three priorities to focus local action on. Knowing the top three areas in which to focus helps inform JHSC and union workand helps expose the workplace factors that detract from a worker’s health and well-being. Books Movies to Inspire 1. The Garden (2008) The Garden is about the South Central Farmers, a group of dirt-poor Los Angeles who took a track of urban ruin and turned it into an Eden--only to see the flora they so lovingly planted and tended be bulldozed by a selfish land owner. This film is about their dignity, determination and their fight to preserve their garden-- and what they’ve done to recover from its loss. 2. In A Better World (2011 Best Foreign Film) “Bathed in a golden light that contrasts with the film’s dark emotional currents, In A Better World brilliantly dramatizes the vexing problem of trying to do right in a world of situational ethics” – Peter Howell, The Toronto Star 3. Chris Hedges “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010) No one is spared Hedge’s criticism as to why we have a ‘permanent underclass’ (including the Democratic Party, churches, unions, the media and academia). No wonder he is a supporter of the “Occupy” Movement! 10
  • 11. BARGAINING HIGHLIGHTSSector 2 :L.166 Middlesex Community LivingA four-year agreement effective April 1, 2010 expiring March 31, 2014, settled atconciliation • general wage increase of 1.75% and 1.75% in the final two years • lump sum; $1000 for full time, prorated for part time.L.336 Community Living West NorthumberlandA four-year agreement effective April 1, 2010 expiring March 31, 2014, settled atconciliation • general wage increase of $0.40 April 2012 and $.40 April 2013 • lump sum; $1400 for full time and $450 for contract • improvement to bereavement leave; now includes step family.L.597 Montage Support Services of Metropolitan TorontoA four-year agreement effective April 1, 2010 expiring March 31, 2014, settled at mediation • general wage increase of $0.50 April 1, 2012 and $0.50 April 1, 2013 • educational stipend; $1500 for FT, $1000 for PT and $500 for relief • mileage increased to $.040 from $0.33, organization will match rate given to managers • increased bereavement leave for PT staff • Agreement to have a TOPPS pension plan presentationSector 4 :L 344 - CAS of NorthumberlandA four-year agreement effective January 1, 2012 expiring December 31, 2015, settled atconciliation • general wage increase 2.95% and 2.95% in the final two years • health and welfare spending account - $1000 at ratification, $1000 every year of the agreement and every year after that • letter of understanding re: hours of work • letter of understanding re: workload • health safety language; harassment training • cell phone allowance of $30 • WSIB • mileage $0.47 at ratification, $0.49 in 2013, $0.50 in 2014 11
  • 12. BARGAINING HIGHLIGHTSSector 5 :L.509 Fred VictorA three-year agreement effective April 1, 2011 expiring March 31, 2014, settled atmediation • general wage increase of 1.5% April 1, 2012 • lump sum $750, April 1, 2013 • mileage increased to $.040 from $0.33, organization will match rate given to managers • paid training for relief seniority recognized when applying for jobs • paid breaksSector 15 :L 332 - New Path Youth Family CounsellingA four-year agreement effective April 1, 2011 expiring March 31, 2015 • general wage increase 1% on April 1, 2012, 1% on Oct 1, 2012, 1.75% on April 1, 2013 and 2% on April 1, 2014 • $1000 prepaid Visa for all employees (excludes contract) employed as of April 1, 2011 – non-taxable benefit • NEW no contracting out language • extra day vacation per year for employees in excess of 17 years (max 5 days) • NEW WSIB language • mileage increase from $0.41 to $0.48 • NEW Restructuring language re: mergers, amalgamations, etc.L 334 – Peterborough Youth ServicesA three-year renewal agreement effective April 1, 2012 expiring March 31, 2015 • GWI - 2.5% April 1, 2012, 2% April 1, 2013, 2% April 1, 2014. • Anniversary lump sums: At 5 years will recieve $500, at 10 years will recieve $500, at 15 years will recieve $1000, at 20 years will recieve $1500 • Lump sum at ratification - each employee will recieve an amount depending on the amount of years they have worked (5, 10, 15 or 20 yr amounts) • Improvement to Benefits - vision care $300 for adults every 24 months, $200 for children under 20 ever 12 months 12