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Unifor Local 103 Ontario Northland

Unifor Local 103 is in bargaining with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. The local represents more than 350 workers in who work a variety of classifications, including clerical, on-board passenger train service, yard office, stores, mechanical and hotel staff.

Campaign Update

Unifor Local 103 Ratify New Agreements at Ontario Northland

2/24/2019 -

Members of Unifor Local 103 have voted to ratify five new collective agreements with Ontario Northland that cover 350 Unifor members who work in a variety of different job classifications.

Ratification voting took place in North Bay, Engelhart and Cochrane.  Members voted electronically in Moosonee and Sault Ste. Marie.  More than 65% of the membership took part in the voting.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias congratulated the bargaining committee on their hard work at a difficult time to bargain in Ontario.  He also thanked the membership for the support they showed their Union.

"I'm very pleased with our many accomplishments in this round given the recent challenges and changes at Ontario Northland. Many members have told me and other bargaining committee members that this is one of the better contracts in recent years. That makes you feel good,” said Andy Mitchell, President of Local 103.

“We had a great bargaining committee and I am proud of the work we did.  The terms of this contract makes our workplace competitive for a large contract to secure long-term jobs. The provincial government has a roll to play in bringing work back to Ontario Northland.”  

The new agreements see wage increases in each year of the contract, retroactive to January 1st 2019.  Some of the other improvements include increases to Weekly Indemnity Benefits, Dental Plan, Paramedical Coverage, Vision Plan and increases to afternoon and midnight shift differential.  Two 15-minute coffee breaks have now been enshrined in the collective agreements, and the new Canada Labour Code provisions on Leave for Victims of Family Violence, which we expect to come into affect prior to the next federal election, will be enshrined in all five agreements.  In addition, the Union negotiated 16-hours each week for Paid Union Leave for the purposes of Health and Safety and a new Unifor Women's Advocate position for Local 103.

We wish to thank members for their support throughout the bargaining process.

In Solidarity,

Local 103 Bargaining Committee:

Andy Mitchell – President

Jane Krajc – Vice President, Agr.1 (Clerical)

Laurie Meilleur – Sec. Treasurer, Agr.1 (Clerical)

Valerie Kennedy – Agr.4 (Stores/Transportation)

Tina Irwin – Agr.5 (Passenger Rail Services)

Julie Fasano – Agr.9 (Cochrane Station Inn)

Michel Lavergne – Agr.12 Unit Chair

Andrew Chapman – Agr.12 (Cochrane Shops)

Andrew Jackson – Agr.12 (North Bay Shops)

Barry Kennedy – National Representative, Unifor

Unifor responds to Ontario Northland’s New Drug and Alcohol Policy

2/8/2019 -

On January 18, 2019, Ontario Northland formalized and issued a new Drug and Alcohol Policy to ONTC employees.  A draft policy was sent to Unifor on November 7, 2018, but we had no formal discussions on this draft as we had not yet received all the documents that formed this new policy (Appendices A and B).  Consequently, we were surprised to see the policy issued before we had the opportunity, as the certified bargaining agent, to review the full context of the policy and meet to discuss our concerns and propose amendments.

On January 28, 2019, Unifor National Representative Barry Kennedy wrote Ontario Northland to highlight Unifor’s concerns with the following parts of this policy:

  • Prevention, Assistance & Treatment
  • Searches and Inspections
  • Testing after Accidents and Incidents
  • Post Treatment and Post-Violation
  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels of 0.02
  • Safety Sensitive Position of Unifor Local 103

We sent another letter on February 3rd that reiterated our concerns and the manner by which ONTC requires members to sign and acknowledge the policy.  We also informed the ONTC that when signing “Appendix A” we are instructing our membership to write the following statement with their acknowledgement:

My signature regarding compliance is without prejudice to and pending any intervention that may be made by my bargaining agent.

We are planning to have discussions with ONTC on the new Drug and Alcohol Policy during next week’s bargaining sessions.

Unifor Local 103 continues negotiations with Ontario Northland

2/8/2019 -

Unifor Local 103 continued negotiations with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) from January 28 to February 1 in North Bay.  Bargaining focused largely on work rule demands for Agreement 1.  On Friday afternoon, discussions turned to Agreement 4.  Talks were productive.  The Company still has some proposals on the table that concern us, but we will continue to address theses in the best interests of our membership in mind as we continue bargaining. 

Bargaining will continue next week (February 11-15) and through the weekend if necessary in hopes of securing a fair settlement that will be subject to ratification by our 350 members at Ontario Northland.  Agreement 1 and 5 issues will continue to be addressed on the 11th, Agreements 4 and 9 proposals on the 12th, and Agreement 12 proposals will be bargained from Wednesday onward.

Bargaining Update

11/28/2018 -

On Tuesday, November 27 , Unifor Local 103's Bargaining Committee officially opened negotiations with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) to renew and amend our five collective agreements. All five agreements expire on December 31, 2018.

"Your bargaining committee has never been so determined to make reasonable gains in all our Unifor Collective Agreements at Ontario Northland,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.  

“This year has been a very busy year, with the transfer of our pension plan, layoffs and the continued transformation of our shops.  And with the introduction of new technologies in all our agreements, this will all make for a crucial round of bargaining,” said Andy Mitchell, President of Local 103.  “Our members submitted their bargaining surveys and sent a clear message to the bargaining committee as to what their priorities are for this round.”

During Tuesday’s session, Unifor presented and explained their various bargaining proposals to the Company.  On Wednesday, ONTC will present theirs.

Negotiations will continue through to Thursday.

In solidarity,

Local 103 Bargaining Committee:

Andy Mitchell – President

Jane Krajc – Vice President, Agreement 1 Bargaining Committee Rep (Clerical)

Valerie Kennedy – Agreement 4 Bargaining Committee Rep (Stores & Transportation)

Tina Irwin – Agreement 5 Bargaining Committee Rep (Passenger Rail Services)

Julie Fasano – Agreement 9 Bargaining Committee Rep (Cochrane Station Inn)     

Michel Lavergne – Agreement 12 Unit Chair           

Andrew Chapman – Agreement 12 Bargaining Committee Rep (Cochrane Shops)           

Andrew Jackson – Agreement 12 Bargaining Committee Rep (North Bay Shops)

Barry Kennedy – National Representative, Unifor