Reminder!! This Sunday May 1, 2016


Our Elections will be May 1, 2016.

The meeting will be held at Wegz Sports Stadium. The doors will open at 630 pm and the meeting will start at 7 pm

On the agenda is elections for Stewards and all Executive positions including President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Chief Steward and Health and safety Steward.

Please see the printable notice below

15 – GMM 01 May 2016- Meeting Notice


NEW! General Membership Meeting – May 1, 2016

The rescheduled meeting for our Elections will be May 1, 2016.

The meeting will be held at Wegz Sports Stadium. The doors will open at 630 pm and the meeting will start at 7 pm

On the agenda is elections for Stewards and all Executive positions including President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Chief Steward and Health and safety Steward.

Please see the printable notice below

15 – GMM 01 May 2016- Meeting Notice

Letter to the members of Local 376 from Maria Bauer

I have been an employee since 2006. I have spent all these years learning how the union operates, the policies, procedures and laws that make it function along with learning how to handle grievances, complaints and other issues while facing a very difficult employer.

In 2012, I noticed that the local was unmanageable. The demographics were huge. We had stores all the way from Creemore, Stayner, Barrie, Innisfil to Woodbridge and Markham. Many past Union executives noticed this in the years but I was the one who investigated how we could better manage the local, and studied the OPSEU policies and procedure to successfully split the local. This was not an easy feat.

I have seen many changes over these years. The worst change has been the lack of full time jobs and the job sharing all casuals have been suffering. The past few years, I have had to work 7 days a week (for just over 30 hours) just to be able to barely survive to pay my bills and take care of my family while not being able to obtain a full time job.

I have always encouraged all members to attend local meetings, education training and to become stewards. I know many of you have seen me several times, attending stores to post meeting notices. I send regular emails and keep up the website and always have encouraged participation. Locals across the Province, have been inspired by the website and communications we have maintained and these other locals use our information as a source for their own locals.

Recently, members of this local have come forward to run for officer positions. These members have every right to step up and I am happy that they are. I have always encouraged more participation in the union. In order to run for any position, you must be an elected steward first. This is a OPSEU policy. The problem with this policy, is that it does not say you must be a “trained” steward to hold an officer position. It concerns me to have members with no training and no prior involvement suddenly decide that they will try and run for executive positions without training. A steward’s main role is to defend the contract and the members. They must be willing to challenge management when our rights are violated.

What I find to be the biggest oddity is that these members have chosen their own “team” and through this they have excluded not only me, but other stewards that have a true interest in the union. These other stewards that have filed grievances, attended education training and have a dedicated interest in helping others and finding out why wording in our contract is working against the members.

When we bargain, grievances are looked at. Issues that have been brought forward are studied. If no one has complained, no one knows what is or what is not working. It is important to stay involved and speak up and stand together. To exclude members that stand up and have been involved in the union, will do none of us any good.

I would also like to address the untrue rumors going around this local about me. I am not sure if you have heard any of them, but some members have come forward and advised me and OPSEU what is being said. The rumors are hurtful, and against OPSEU’s harassment policies. I encourage any of you that have heard these rumors, to come forward and stop the malicious gossip that is going on and advise our staff representative at OPSEU.

There has also been a lot of miss-information being spread about policies, and procedures of OPSEU. I assure you that OPSEU watches over all locals to assure policies and procedures are followed.

Some people will say that the rumors and miss information are just politics. If you have ever been bullied, you would know that what they are saying and doing against me is bullying.

If you have any questions about what I have done in this local since being a local president, please call or email me anytime.

We are going into bargaining. The contract expires March 31, 2017. The people elected at our next meeting on May 1, 2016 will be the members representing all of us for two years and during the upcoming round of bargaining.

I am looking to be reelected. I forgive the members who started these nasty rumors and I will carry on with my head up as I know what has been said is untrue.

It is the employer who is the one who wants us divided and conquered. It is the employer who cuts hours, hires, fires, disciplines, transfers and dismisses us and manipulates the contract to disadvantage us.

It is up to all of us to stand together as a whole team without excluding anyone. We need to stand strong, together, so that we get the best results during the next round of bargaining.

I will always spread the word of the union and support all workers. I am looking for your support to re-elect me as local President at our next general membership meeting on May 1, 2016 at WEGZ sports stadium. The meeting starts at 7 pm and I hope to see you there.

In Solidarity,

Maria Bauer

President Local 376


OPSEU Convention 2016

OPSEU Convention 2016

Here are some of the highlights from Convention

Convention this year was held on April 14 to 16, 2016. It was held at the Metro Convention Center in Toronto. In attendance were approximately 1800 members from the OPSEU membership from all over the province.

We had many awards to members that have been recognized for their dedication to helping others.

There was the Stanley Knowles Humanitarian Award, The Honorary Lifetime Membership Award, Health and Safety award, The Tim Brown award, The Leah Casselman Award and The Human Rights Award.

We reviewed the OPSEU financials and started to go over the OPSEU Budget that was put together by the First Vice Presidents Office and reviewed by the OPSEU Executive Board.

OPSEU Convention had some special guests. We were honored to hear from Andrea Horwath, leader of the Provincial NDP Party.

We heard from Chris Buckley, the President of the OFL (Ontario Federation of Labour). The delegates at Convention voted in favor of re affiliating with the OFL.

OPSEU Convention also heard from honorary speaker from Australia. His name is Gerard Hayes. He is the general Secretary of the Australian Health Services Union.  He spoke of how Australia has mirrored Canada’s Health Program. He also spoke on how the government has been systemically been trying to make public services private.

We had a rally to raise minimum wage to $15.00. http://15andfairness.org/. We also had a rally to Queens Park with the message of saving our schools.

Resolutions and Constitutional amendments that were voted on are on the printable flyers below.

Day One – April 14, 2016

Printable flyer  from Day one  – convention2016dailyupdate1


Day Two – April 15, 2016 


Printable Flyer from Day 2 – day_2_-_final

Day 3 – April 16, 2016 

Printable Flyer from Day 3 – day_3_c

Bargaining Delegates Meeting

We will be having another meeting to try and elect delegates for Pre Bargaining Meeting.

Thursday April 21, 2016

Fortino’s Supermarket

 2911 Major MacKenzie Dr W, Vaughan

Meeting STARTS @ 6:30 PM SHARP

Pre Bargaining Meeting

On the Agenda:

  • Election for Delegates to Pre Bargaining Conference

Printable Flyer is available below

15 – GMM 21 April 2016 – Meeting Notice

Union Busting

Even though we already have a union,  many of the tactics below are being used daily. Please read the article below carefully and recognize what is going on in your workplace and union functions. They put the workers against each other with the old theory of “conquer and divide”.


What to Expect from your Employer when you Organize

What will my Employer do?

Most employers don’t want their employees to be in a union. Think about it: employers go from having total control to having to share power with workers who stand together. From their perspective, organized workers will cost more money and require that they follow a legally-binding contract, when before they could do it however they wanted.

Usually when employees show interest in organizing a Union, the company responds with an anti-union program. They may begin group meetings to try to scare workers out of signing authorization cards or talking to union representatives. They may also start a “nice” campaign and suddenly become interested in workplace problems and even offer “quick fix” solutions, like raises or improved benefits. Where does their new found concern come from? Their only hope is to discourage you from Union representation.

Prepare yourself!
If you and your co-workers know WHAT TO EXPECT, the employer’s tactics will shine through as what they really are: desperate attempts to keep things the way they are by trying to crush the power of workers unified in the workplace.

Employers will often hire union-busting firms who specialize in scaring workers with misinformation and fear tactics. Here’s what they’ll tell your employer to do. If you anticipate these actions and talk with your co-workers about them before they happen, the employer’s power to scare workers is significantly less.

Union-busting: What’s Legal and What’s Not 
Employers can legally run anti-union campaigns, but there are some things they CANNOT do (see Illegal Employer Behaviors). If your employer takes part in these activities, the union can file an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

Most employers rely on union-busting consultants to run a campaign to convince you not to form a union. These consultants have a standard “playbook” of tactics they pull out and run time and again. These include:

LETTERS, LETTERS AND MORE LETTERS: The “Union Busters” will write lots of letters during the campaign. Only, they will be signed not by the “Union busters,” but by the company president, facility/company administrators and some well-liked managers and supervisors.

LOVE LETTERSSome letters will say how much the management/administration really appreciates the work employees have done for the facility/company. Some might even admit past mistakes.

THE UGLY UNION LETTERS: Most of the letters will paint an ugly picture of the Union. They want you to think the Union has a lot to hide. They will never give the Union credit for anything it has achieved at other facilities.

SUPERVISOR PRESSURE: The “Union busters” will use supervisors as the front line troops against the Union — delivering letters, informal chats and even speeches prepared by the “Union busters.”

LOVE OFFERINGS: The “Union busters” will tell management to hand out larger than expected wage increases and/or improved benefits. They might even restore lost health insurance benefits, wages, differentials, etc. They might establish or revise employee participation committees. They want to show you that you don’t need a Union to get things done. The point is to convince you that the boss is really a good guy who can be trusted in the future.

A HELPING HAND: The “Union busters” will tell the facility to start correcting problems: Big things and nagging little things will now be fixed. Management will solicit and settle grievances.

LET’S BE PALS: Administrators/Supervisors will be everywhere, walking the floors day and night, setting up spur-of-the-moment meetings so that they can fix what’s on your mind. You might even be invited to lunch!

ONE-ON-ONES: The “Union busters” will have supervisors call employees in for face-to-face discussions about the Union. The supervisors will have been told exactly what to say by the “Union busters.”

MANDATORY MEETINGS: Employees will be required – on paid time while your normal work is piling up – to attend meetings where the administrators/Managers will deliver a speech prepared by the “Union busters.” These meetings will not be intended to be a free and open debate.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER: The “Union busters” will try to play one group of employees against another – “disloyal” Union supporters against “loyal pro-company” Union opponents. One department against another, men versus women, etc.

“VOTE NO” COMMITTEE: A committee of concerned employees might be set up to “stand up for” the facility and “against the bullying” tactics of the Union. The committee members will want to save the facility/company from the Union and give management another chance.

SO LONG, IT’S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YOU: If all else fails, the administrators, personnel director or some other big management type will be forced to resign or be fired. Then, the facility will try to persuade you to give the new administrator/Manager “another chance” to make things better.

Don’t be fooled by these “Union Busting” tactics.
Having a Union at work is YOUR RIGHT!

The definition of “divide and conquer”

Also, divide and govern or rule. Win by getting one’s opponents to fight among themselves. For example, Divide and conquer was once a very successful policy in sub-Saharan Africa. This expression is a translation of the Latin maxim, Divide et impera (“divide and rule”), and began to appear in English about 1600.

Meeting Reminder


Tonight is our very important General Membership meeting. We will be holding elections for Stewards and all Local Executive positions.

The meeting will start at 7 pm at Wegz Sports Stadium, 2601 Rutherford Road.

We will be electing

Stewards, President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Chief Steward, Health and Safety Steward and Delegates to attend the Divisional Bargaining Meetings.
See you there!

In Solidarity,

Maria Bauer, President Local 376


Bargaining Suveys

I just wanted to let everyone know that we collected a record number of surveys for the local today.

With the assistance of two wonderful stewards, Michelle Brooks and Danny Scenna, we collected 100 surveys from the members of local 376.

The 100 surveys collected included the several that were completed online.

We are holding a meeting at Wegz Sports Stadium, tomorrow, March 20, 2016 at 7 pm, to tally the results of the surveys and come up with the locals top 10 demands for the Pre Bargaining Conference.

If you are still wanting to fill in a survey, you can still go to the local website to complete a survey.

The link to complete the survey is  http://local376.com/archives/1584

It will stay active until April 2, 2016


In Solidarity,

Maria Bauer

President Local 376

PVR Review

PVR Review for the June 2016 Job Postings

I was recently invited to review the Permanent Vacancy Records with the chair of our PVR Committee, Dave Holmes and other local Presidents. We were asked to look over the time sheets for members that have achieved over 1700 hours in 2015.

These lists are given to us from the employer and we are told they are all the employees that have over 1700 hours in 2015. Being a local President for 4 years now, I am quite familiar with our stores and the first thing I noticed was not all “senior casuals” were on the list. So, I raised the question. “How can someone junior be on the list when the senior person is not?”

I did find out that some of the senior employees are not fully available therefore resulting in less hours for the year. But I did find some that are fully available, yet not on the list. This is being looked into by the chair and a grievance may be filed.

The list for our district only had 15 names on it. From these 15 employees, 4 jobs were lost to the night shift.  We lost a few jobs to employees being transferred in 2015.  We also lost jobs to employees replacing full time employees that are being accommodated due to injuries or medical conditions. We lost two jobs to a replacement of a “temporary” transfer of a full time employee. This means that the casuals only recieved the hours because this full time employee has been temporarily transferred. When I looked at the name of the full time employee whom was transferred, she has not been in that store for 4 years now! I do not think this is a “temporary” thing anymore , do you? In fact, this full time employee that was transferred to another store is having her hours deducted from casuals in the store she has been transferred to due to her accommodations. So the employer has deducted her hours from three casuals resulting in the loss of three full time jobs because of one full time employee.

Here is the list of exclusions as per our collective agreement. Note that this states it is based on work resulting from these items.


It is agreed that work resulting from the following shall be excluded from the review:

  • Hours worked on Sunday
  • Hours worked on a paid holiday as listed in Article 8.1
  • Sickness and/or accident, not including LTIP
  • Vacation and leaves of absence including jury duty, bereavement, Union business
  • Temporary transfers/assignments
  • Modified work programs
  • Accommodation as required by legislation
  • Overtime
  • Hours worked on the night shift
The final result of the PVR review for District 18 according to the employers records…… are you ready…

District 18 has ZERO PVR postings from the 2015 review. This means when the jobs are posted in June of 2016, there will be NO Casual to full time jobs in York Region.

The good news. There will be 15 jobs posted in Central Region. If you decide to take a job be prepared to travel to Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton or anywhere in Central region other than York! Or maybe uproot your life and move to another location. As other Regions in the Province did create a few jobs.

I am astonished that we have no jobs. According to statistics, York is one of the fastest growing regions in the Province. We have had several new store openings, we have had members retire or move out of the area, yet there are no new full time jobs.

I just heard that we will also have 17 new casuals starting in several stores by the end of March. And remember, even though there are no full time jobs, they will still hire hundreds of fixed term employees in May and December.

Precarious work in Ontario has become widespread. People have become complacent to it. It is becoming so familiar that we all start to accept part time precarious work. We start to say things like “its Retail” “you don’t need skills to do that job” “its everywhere” or “that’s the way it is now”

The employer tells us “they have to keep a budget” “its the needs of the business”.

I have been with the company for over 10 years now. Every year the sales go up, yet the full time jobs decrease. There was a time that full time jobs were greater than the casual jobs and they still set record profits year after year.

I would like to say that I have also been told that we are overstaffed in our district and that is why there have been no new full time jobs with all the new store openings.

So my question was, if we are over staffed, then how do you justify over 200 casual jobs ? And of course there is No answer.

I have people stating that the union does nothing and this is the unions fault. I can guarantee that this language was not put in the collective agreement to create a situation like this.

We just hand delivered bargaining surveys across the Province. The locals will be looking at the surveys and holding general membership meetings to decide what our top priorities are.

This is the time we all speak up and demand we protect the full time jobs we have and should be getting!

In Solidarity,

Maria Bauer

President Local 376

Click the link below for a printable copy of this article

PVR Review 2016





Bargaining Survey – information

We as a local, as employees, that all work under the same contract need to decide our priorities. If the Retail sector of this contract, do not get their bargaining demands in NOW, we will not be heard. We have become a workforce of “casual workers” who do not have a chance at full time employment without waiting for over a decade.

Please continue to fill out the “bargaining survey”

You can complete it online  at  http://local376.com/archives/1584

This is your chance to let the union know what is important to you. This is how we let OPSEU know what needs to be demanded in our next round of bargaining.

If you do not know what to put under each article, you do not need to answer that question. There is a link for each question the shows you the article.

You can also  just fill in your top 5 at the bottom of the survey.

You can ask for anything you think may be important to you. Here are some examples.

  1. Increase in benefits (and you can specify what is lacking)
  2. Better working conditions
  3. Scheduling

You can be as detailed as you like in the comments sections.

In Solidarity

Maria Bauer
President Local 376