Leading Health-Care Bargaining
ONA leads the way for collective bargaining in the health-care sector. Other unions typically wait for ONA to create the standard for wages and working conditions in our negotiations, hoping to piggy-back on our hard-won victories.
During the 2014-16 round of hospital bargaining, ONA fought to end lump sum payments as a form of compensation. CUPE and SEIU had agreed to a four year collective agreement with annual 0.7% wage increases plus a 0.7% lump sum payment in each year. ONA fought for a better outcome for its members and was successful in achieving a 1.4% increase in each year of a two year collective agreement. OPSEU followed ONA in bargaining, piggy-backing on ONA’s hard-won victory.
ONA part-time members acquire one year’s equivalent seniority and service after 1500 hours versus OPSEU at 1650 hours. This means ONA members enjoy accelerated progress through the wage grid and vacation entitlement.
As a union of health-care professionals, ONA recognizes the challenges for members’ home and personal lives of working in a profession requiring 24/7 shift work: ONA has evening, night and weekend premiums higher than other unions. Currently, these premiums are $0.35 per hour higher than OPSEU.
ONA has language for premium payment (time and one half) if required to work a third consecutive weekend and any subsequent weekends. OPSEU does not.
First Collective Agreements Under PSLRTA
ONA has a solid track record of success in bargaining first collective agreements under the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act (PSLRTA), preserving superior conditions of the predecessor collective agreements.
St. Joseph’s Health Care, London - After the merger of ONA and OPSEU RN units, ONA negotiated a first collective agreement maintaining superior conditions of both previous collective agreements, including: RNs refusing influenza vaccination may continue to work during an outbreak; statutory holiday pay provision from the former OPSEU collective agreement; and a consecutive weekend premium provision from the former ONA collective agreement.
Brockville - In a merger of former OPSEU and ONA units, ONA successfully negotiated the ability for former OPSEU members to maintain their OPT pension with retiree benefits or the option of switching to ONA’s HOOPP pension plan.
Halton Healthcare - During this merger, ONA was able to achieve a significant arbitration award regarding the harmonization of wage rates for two classifications — the higher wage rate would apply in both instances. This award establishes that wage rates harmonized by mergers should not bear the cost of the rationalization. Simply put, our wages were protected.
Centre for Addictions and Mental Health - Following the merger of former OPSEU and ONA units, ONA was successful in maintaining former OPSEU members’ wages when they were placed on the new grid along with their OPT pension while still enjoying the benefit of ONA’s superior scheduling language for vacation.