Bargaining – 2016/2017 Updates

Implementation award
Before: William Kaplan, Sole Arbitrator
For the LCBO: Paul Boniferro
McCarthy Tetrault
Barristers & Solicitors

For OPSEU: Don Eady
Paliare Roland
Barristers & Solicitors
Jodi Martin
Paliare Roland
Barristers & Solicitors

The matters in dispute proceeded to a hearing in Toronto on March 21, 2017.


On February 10, 2017, an award was issued. That award must be placed in context. It was issued following a lengthy and complicated mediation/arbitration. That mediation

arbitration arose following the settlement of an HRTO complaint on the eve of its hearing. The award sought to carefully balance the competing interests of the parties. In

the aftermath of the issue of that award, two implementation issues arose. The parties had specifically requested that I remain seized to deal with any implementation dispute, and that dispute proceeded to a hearing held in Toronto on March 21, 2017.The Issues The parties sought clarification on two issues, it being agreed at the hearing that a third one – whether the Sunday premium had been eliminated for all retail employees – had been resolved. The Sunday premium was eliminated for all retail employees. With respect to the remaining two issues, both parties made detailed submissions, all of which have been carefully considered.The AwardThe award provided the following:

Sunday Premium

Eliminated effective April 1, 2017 for PFT CSRs and Retail POS/Help Desk employees. Parties directed to amend Article 7 of the collective agreement so as to provide that PFT CSRs and

Retail POS/Help Desk employees working on Sundays will be scheduled on a rotational basis so that no one in either of these groups will work more than one (1) Sunday in every four (4) to a maximum of thirteen (13) in a fiscal year. Moreover, no PFT CSR or Retail POS/Help Desk employee will be scheduled to work a Sunday directly following a Saturday that is their regular scheduled day off. A PFT will have two (2) consecutive scheduled days off in the week they work a Sunday.Agency Stores

Effective date of award, and notwithstanding LOU re Agency Stores, for every agency store that is repatriated the employer may open a new agency store.

Issue One

Whether Sunday was now to be scheduled as a regular day of work As noted above, the Sunday premium was eliminated for all retail employees effective April 1, 2017. Prior to that date, approximately twenty percent of the full-time employees worked on Sunday and enjoyed the premium. The award, therefore, introduced scheduling protections for full-time employees. The award remitted the actual negotiation of those new scheduling provisions to the parties so that they could agree on them, and on consequential amendments to the collective agreement. The only reason the protections were introduced was because Sunday was to become, with the

elimination of the premium, a regular workday. The parties were directed to amend Article 7 to give effect to the fact that the regular workweek is now Sunday through Saturday and to incorporate the newly awarded protections. Unfortunately, a dispute arose and I am confirming what was set out in the earlier award. Sunday is, with the elimination of th premium, a regular workday for all retail employees. The union’s submissions on this point, if accepted, would have almost

completely negated the impact of the change rendering it almost meaningless. As Sunday is now a regular workday, Sunday work is not, and cannot, be voluntary. Sunday is the third busiest day of the week and the employer sought as its main priority in the mediation/arbitration that it be treated as a regular work day allowing it to schedule a mix of employees without attracting any premium (other than overtime where appropriate). The award then introduced protections for full-time employees  who were losing an important benefit because of that change. The award is a simple and straightforward as that. As earlier observed, although it bears repeating, the awarded provision was the result of an extended mediation/arbitration process and it was one that sought to carefully calibrate the outcome. The employer’s proposed collective agreement provisions

dealing with this issue only, as set out in its brief submitted at the March 21st hearing, are, therefore, awarded as either necessary to give effect to the award, or because they

are made necessary for housekeeping, or because deletions are now necessary because certain provisions have become moot, for example the Letter of Agreement – Sunday

Openings. This in no way amends or supplements the award: it gives direct effect to it. The parties could have and should have done so themselves (including necessary

housekeeping changes) as a result of the direction given in the initial award. This award merely implements that direction. As discussed at the hearing, nothing in this award

affects overtime provisions as they are otherwise engaged.Issue Two

Impact of the awarded provision on existing Letter of Agreement Re: Agency Stores

The award could not be more clear. It indicates that notwithstanding the provisions of the Letter of Agreement Re: Agency Stores, the employer can open a new agency store if it repatriates an existing agency store. This is an entitlement separate and apart from what is set out in the Letter of Agreement Re: Agency Stores. The purpose of the

provision was to provide additional relief not to circumscribe what was already in place, and to do so in an extremely modest, digestible and fair-minded fashion. The

Letter of Agreement Re: Agency Stores, with all of its many protections for the union, and restrictions on the employer, continues. The parties are, accordingly, directed to

incorporate the specific language of the award in a separate Letter of Agreement Re:

Repatriation and to include it in their collective agreement.

It was agreed at the hearing, and at the request of the parties memorialized here, that nothing in this award in any way affects the ability and entitlement of either party to make bargaining proposals in the current round. At the request of the parties, I continue to remain seized with respect to the implementation of my award.

DATED at Toronto this 27th day of March 2017.
“William Kaplan”
William Kaplan, Sole Arbitrator
2017 CanLII 15903 (ON LA)

2017canlii – Clarification of award



Day One of Bargaining – January 21, 2017

Day One of Bargaining


Publication Date

Friday, December 16, 2016 – 4:15pm

Information for OPSEU members in the Liquor Board Employees Division – Issue #1 – December 19, 2016

Get ready to bargain!

This year was a busy one for OPSEU members at the LCBO. The New Year will be even busier!

The OPSEU Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED) has been hard at work in 2016, delivering a strong campaign against the privatization of our work. But as we turn the corner into 2017, it’s time to make way for contract negotiations between the LCBO and your OPSEU bargaining team. Our collective agreement expires on March 31, 2017.

“We’ve already spent months getting ready to bargain,” says Denise Davis, chair of the LBED bargaining team. “We’ve elected our bargaining team, we’ve set our demands, and we’ve started laying the foundation for our next contract.

“We are well under way, but this is just the beginning of a long journey.”

Human rights talks come first

Bargaining in this round will officially begin on February 20, 2017. But before it does, the LCBO and OPSEU must iron out the details of an historic agreement reached November 1 to settle a major human rights complaint.

As a result of that agreement, customer service representatives (CSRs) working as casuals in LCBO stores and depots will soon be placed on a new wage grid. This new grid will allow them to reach the same top pay rate earned by permanent part-time and permanent full-time CSRs. This settlement represents a huge victory for more than 4,000 casual CSRs.

In November, the parties agreed to several things:

  • All CSRs – casual, permanent part-time, and permanent full-time – will be on the same pay grid.
  • All the details of the new pay grid will be negotiated between OPSEU and the LCBO.
  • If OPSEU and the LCBO cannot agree, all outstanding issues will be decided by arbitrator William Kaplan, and his decisions will be legally binding on both parties.
  • No CSR will see her or his pay go down as a result of the settlement.

Negotiations are currently under way, and the outstanding issues will be decided before bargaining of the new collective agreement begins. The parties have agreed to a “blackout” on these talks. Neither of the LCBO and OPSEU will be releasing details until a final settlement is reached, either through negotiations or by order of the arbitrator.

For more details of the November 1 agreement, read our Q&A.

Bargaining kicks off February 20

So far, OPSEU and the LCBO have agreed to 17 dates for negotiations: February 20-24, March 6-10, April 3-5, and April 10-13.

The OPSEU bargaining team is optimistic about this round, says bargaining team Chair Denise Davis.

“This is our round,” she said. “The fight against Premier Wynne’s privatization agenda is sweeping across the province, and has been taken up by folks all over. And the progress we’ve already made on equal pay for equal work gives us more room to focus on other key issues like job security, wages, benefits, and hours of work.”

Meet your bargaining team

The OPSEU bargaining for the Liquor Board Employees Division consists of five members:

Denise Davis, Chair, Local 378

Colleen MacLeod, Vice-Chair, Local 5107

Jennifer van Zetten, Local 162

Robin Reath, Local 163

Mark Larocque, Local 499

The bargaining team is assisted by OPSEU Negotiator Jeff Weston, Researcher Steve Crossman, and other assigned staff.

Meet your mobilizers

OPSEU mobilizers are your co-workers at the LCBO. Their job is to help keep you informed of what happens at the bargaining table, and how you can support the bargaining team as they work to get you the best collective agreement possible. LBED members have elected mobilizers in each of the seven OPSEU regions:

Guy Jeremschuk, Local 162

Bonnie Jolley, Local 284

Tracy Vyfschaft, Local 377

Dianne Perry, Local 497

Craig Hadley, Local 5109

Amanda Pellerin, Local 682

Rob Mithrush, Local 741

Stay informed!

You can receive this bargaining bulletin (and our regular newsletter, the Echo) directly by e-mail. Just call OPSEU at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888, and give the operator your name and e-mail address. You can also watch for updates on the OPSEU website at And be sure to attend upcoming bargaining information meetings in your area.

EAP Hotline: 1-800-263-1401

The LCBO Employee Assistance Program is a confidential, hassle-free counseling service for eligible LCBO employees and their immediate families. For assistance, call 1-800-263-1401.

Your 2017 Bargaining Bulletin is authorized for distribution by:

Denise Davis, Chair, Liquor Board Employees Division

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, OPSEU



November 5, 2017

There was a Final Demand set meeting at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. There were 3 Delegates (including the local president) that attended on behalf of our local.

The delegates are yet to share the information from the meeting with the local. There was information regarding the Provincial top ten bargaining demands for our next round of bargaining

Updated:December 16,2016


On October 30, 2017, OPSEU called a General Membership Meeting. We are still waiting for minutes from the Local Secretary and Local President.


Call out letter sent to all local Presidents September 17, 2017



Demand Setting Fact Sheets