HopeGreyBruce Disputes Union Wage Claims

Hope Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addictions Services disputes union claims that staff has had very limited wage increases in the past decade.

OPSEU claims the key concern is that members have only received a one percent wage increase in the past ten years.

However, Sarah Cowley, Executive Director HopeGreyBruce Mental Health and Addictions Services says staff has received multiple increases over the past decade ranging from 1% up to 7.6%.

She says at no point in the last ten years have management employees received increases that were not provided to bargaining unit employees.

That included a 2% increase in December 2008, and another 2% in 2009, both retroactive to April 2008.

The next increase was 2.5% in 2012.

Between 2015 and 2017 employees received three lump-sum payments, worth an average of 5.3% of their wages.

She adds the Ontario Community Mental Health and Addictions Survey of Compensation Practices in the spring of 2017 found bargaining unit members were paid average or above average salaries compared to others in the South West LHIN.

The contract dispute goes to conciliation in February.

Management summary of Salary Adjustments and Allowances for all HopeGreyBruce Staff (including Management) for 2008-09 to 2017-18

Fiscal YearAmount Provided

2008-2009

In December 2007, a 1% increase was paid to all employees and was applied retroactively to Apr 1, 2007. Surplus funds allowed us to provide an additional lump-sum payment in June 2008, in order to apply the 1% increase retroactively to October 1, 2005, instead (i.e. a lump-sum payment was provided for an additional 18 months).
In December 2008, a 2% increase was paid to all employees and was applied retroactively to April 1, 2008.

2009-2010 An additional 2% increase was paid to all employees and was applied retroactively to April 1, 2008.

2010-2011 Wage Freeze Legislation in force, no adjustment allowed.

2011-2012 Wage Freeze Legislation in force, no adjustment allowed.

2012-2013 0% Base Budget Increase
A 2.5% increase was paid to all employees and was applied retroactively to April 1, 2012. A supplementary increase was provided for positions which had the greatest disparity between their salaries and those paid to their counterparts elsewhere, or where an adjustment was required in order to maintain internal equity.

2013-2014 0% Base Budget Increase
No adjustment was provided to any employee/employee group. We could not cut any of our other budget lines to provide a wage increase without compromising core operations.

2014-2015 0% Base Budget Increase
A lump-sum cost of living allowance was provided at the end of the fiscal year. This payment was equal to 5.39% of total wages (ranged from 3.75% to 7.67% of their annual salary for each employee).

2015-2016 A 1% increase was paid to all employees and was applied retroactively to April 1, 2015. In addition, a lump-sum cost of living allowance was provided at the end of the fiscal year. This payment was equal to 5.34% of total wages (ranged from 3.74% to 7.23% of their annual salary for each employee).

2016-2017 0% Base Budget Increase
A lump-sum cost of living allowance was provided at the end of the fiscal year. This payment was equal to 5.39% of total wages (ranged from 3.84% to 7.21% of their annual salary for each employee).

2017-2018 0% Base Budget Increase
Since our budget has been frozen again this fiscal year, no adjustments have been provided to any employee/employee group yet.

2018-2019 We have been told to expect a 0% base budget increase for 2018-19 as well.