2019 Collective Agreement

Briefing note on OPSEU Local 596 Collective Agreement - December 2018

This includes a summary of changes to the collective agreement and the implications for managers. HR will be providing more detailed information sessions for leaders in February and March. Please consult with your HR Consultant if you have any questions about these new provisions.


Four-year collective agreement – July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021

Wages and Benefits

The parties agreed to the following across-the-board adjustments:

July 1, 2018 – 1.75%

July 1, 2019 – 1.75%

July 1, 2020 – 2%

July 1, 2021 – 2%

Salary scales have been updated on the HR website accordingly.

The parties agreed to the following provisions respecting benefits:

  • Hearing aids coverage is now reimbursed to a maximum of $1250 every five consecutive years.

  • Psychotherapists expenses are now covered under psychological services.

  • Speech therapists are now reimbursed to a maximum of $1000 per year.

  • Vision care expenses are now reimbursed up to a combined maximum $700 every 18 month, including laser eye surgery.

For more information, see the Benefit plan changes for OPSEU 596 effective January 1 communication that was sent to OPSEU members on January 14. OPSEU Benefits information on the HR website has been updated accordingly.

Bullying and Personal Harassment (Article 3)

Article 3 has been amended to reflect Ryerson’s commitment to a safe and harassment free learning, working and living environment. The language changes include:

  • references to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence,

  • clarity that employees have the right to union representation throughout the process, and

  • witnesses shall not suffer penalty or reprisal because they participated in the process.

Seniority (Article 10)

Seniority accrues for up to 18 months when OPSEU members are on temporary assignment out of the bargaining unit. This revised provision allows members to accrue seniority while they are pursuing professional development opportunities.

Temporary Acting Assignments (Article 12)

The opportunity for temporary acting assignments for OPSEU bargaining unit members have increased from four months in duration to six months in duration. Managers will review their respective work units and staffing plans to determine if they can provide existing bargaining unit members with opportunities for career development.

*Note change to posting language in Article 16.

Term Employees with Twelve (12) or More Months of Continuous Service (Article 13.06)

To provide term employees with more job security, term employees with six or more years of service are now entitled to 100% of severance as outlined in Article 18.03 a.

Ryerson Research Assistants (Article 14)

Research assistants vacation pay will now increase from 6% to 8% after accumulating 1,500 hours of work, instead of the previous 1,885 hours.

Food Services (Article 15)

A number of changes were made to the Food Services provisions of the Collective Agreement to provide staff with more notice and security about their working schedule and allow the University to respond to changing operational needs.

A specific commitment was also made to schedule employer-paid cross training to Food Services employees to provide skills growth and professional development.

Job Postings (Article 16)

The parties agreed to new language, and a new article, for term position less than six months. Before filling a less than 6 month position with an external candidate, managers may first consider a temporary acting assignment. In exceptional circumstances, if an extension to a less than 6 month assignment is required, the University will provide the Union with the rationale.

Pregnancy Leave (Article 22.07); Primary Caregiver Leave/Adoption Leave (Article 22.08); Parental Leave (22.09)

Employer top up payments have increased and will now be paid at 97% of salary for the duration of the top up period.

For example:

  • Pregnancy leave: 17 weeks paid at 97% salary

  • Primary caregiver/Adoption Leave: 17 weeks paid at 97% salary

  • Parental Leave: 4 weeks paid at 97% salary

Leave of Absence (new 22.14)

OPSEU members are reminded that they are entitled to unpaid legislative leaves outlined in the Employment Standards Act. Employees should refer to the Employment Standards Act for a list of available unpaid leaves. Specific leaves already outlined in the Collective Agreement remain in place.

Safety Equipment and Apparel (Article 23.05)

The University recognizes the health and safety of employees is of the utmost importance. Employees can spend up to $175 annual when the University determines safety footwear is required for the role.

Staff Development and Feedback (Article 28)

The parties are committed to the ongoing development and training of OPSEU members. $50,000 of funding will be provided on an annual basis for the duration of the Collective Agreement to provide training and development programs, including career development.

Sick Leave (Article 31)

When employees are sick and unable to come to work, they should provide their manager with as much notice as possible, but no less than one hour prior to the scheduled start of their shift. In order for managers to minimize the service gaps, coordinate workloads, and maintain operational levels, employees should also indicate when they are likely to return to work.

Letters of understanding

The parties agreed to a number of new letters of understanding including:

  • placing a priority on Indigenous hiring as part of Ryerson’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation,

  • discussion with the Union if the construction Brampton campus proceeds,

  • a meeting to discuss wellness initiatives that can be supported by the Ryerson Athletic facilities,

  • a discussion about flexible work arrangements.

Finally, the parties recognized the current tuition waiver policy caps fee waiving at the undergraduate rate, however, the University has agreed to waive annual tuition fees up to the 2018/9 domestic tuition fee rate of the Masters of Business of Administration ($22,328) for the duration of the Collective Agreement.