Scheduling option presented to workers, despite previous rejection
An arbitrator ruled in favour of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) on the union’s allegation of an unfair labour practice against Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in Penetanguishene, Ont.
In the decision, dated June 12, arbitrator Robert Kitchen ruled that Waypoint had broken the law by violating section 70 of the Ontario Labour Relations Act, which deals with employer interference by “the undermining of OPSEU’s representation of its members by directly seeking feedback of employees on scheduling options,” said the union.
In November 2018, Waypoint management assembled OPSEU-represented workers to present two scheduling options to them and to solicit their feedback — despite knowing the union had categorically rejected one option and had scheduled a members’ meeting for a few days later, said OPSEU.
“The union has always stated it wants to sit down with management to find solutions that work for everyone,” said Pete Sheehan, president of OPSEU, Local 329. “We continue to come to the table with an open mind, because the best solutions can, and must, come through collaboration between management and frontline staff. That’s the best way to serve our clients. But collaboration is a two-way street.”OPSEU has filed several labour practice complaints against Waypoint, and on one occasion a court fined Waypoint $40,000 for health and safety violations. Waypoint is operated by a private entity funded by the Ontario government, said the union.