Proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”)
If Bill 66 is implemented in its current form, the ESA would be amended such that employers would no longer be required to obtain the Director of Employment Standards’s approval to make agreements to:
permit their employees to exceed 48 hours of work in a work week; or
allow averaging of an employee’s hours of work for the purpose of determining the employee’s entitlement to overtime pay.
Under Bill 66, the employer would be able to average the employee’s hours of work over a period not exceeding four weeks in accordance with the terms of an averaging agreement between the employer and the employee. Existing overtime averaging agreements in unionized workplaces would continue to be effective until a subsequent collective agreement comes into effect.
The current requirement to obtain the Director’s approval for excess hours and overtime averaging agreements came into effect in 2005 under the Liberal government. The provisions were controversial at the time due to the administrative burden placed on employers to obtain these approvals.
In addition, Bill 66 contemplates that employers would no longer be required to post a poster in their workplaces to provide information to employees about the ESA and its regulations.
“Our members’ first choice is always to reach an agreement through negotiating in good faith,” says president of the Power Workers’ Union Mel Hyatt. “We are disappointed that OPG provided a final offer that remained unchanged from the previous offer that had already been rejected. We need to reach an agreement that will strengthen the reliability of Ontario’s energy sector.”
A majority of PWU members voted in favour of job action in response to OPG’s refusal to reconsider its stance to deny over 300 highly trained, skilled term workers the rights of full-time employees. Currently, 300 Pickering and Darlington power plants employees fit in the ‘term’ worker category.
“OPG’s treatment of highly trained workers must be addressed. These employees are relied upon to ensure the reliability of Ontario’s electricity sector, and therefore should not be treated as a disposable resource,” says president of the Power Workers’ Union Mel Hyatt.
“My research has suggested that it would be difficult to come to a definitive conclusion at this time as to how this new Bill 66 will affect the government procurement process.
On one hand, I have said that when you restrict bids, the price goes up.
I have also said that if too many contractors pick up bids (over seven for example), it is less likely that those contractors will take the time to compete with such a large pool of bidders.
I have not seen any undisputed, factual, information that the cost of using union contractors on large construction projects borders on a 40 per cent premium.
It has been my observation that the main reason for over-priced projects can be directly attributed to the procurement process, not labour rates.”
Montreal – December 10, 2018 – UFCW Canada is proud to announce that applications to represent employees at SQDC cannabis retail locations in both Rosemont and Rimouski, Quebec have been certified by Quebec’s Administrative Labour Tribunal (Tribunal administratif du travail, or TAT). The two new bargaining units make UFCW the first union to represent workers in Quebec’s emerging cannabis sector. Rosemont was certified on December 7, and Rimouski on November 26.
Workers at the SQDC cannabis retail locations look to UFCW as the union for cannabis workers and its proven record to negotiate collective agreements in the sector that: