CUPE 1263 Bargaining Update

As some of you may be aware, the Local recently received the award that was issued by Arbitrator Burkett for this last round of bargaining.

This now means that we have a new collective agreement.

Here are a few of the highlights in the agreement:

Language for replacement blocks simplified and dates adjusted

Seniority to be recalculated for both FT and Pt and go forward with hours for both.

  • When in a temp position you can now return to former position after 6 months
  • Rolling of shifts prior to posting of schedules
  • Bereavement- set aside a day in order to attend celebration of life at a later date
  • Daylight savings time paid for actual hours worked
  • Vacancies must now be posted after 3 months (was 4). Employees applying to vacancies must accept position when offered.
  • Part time definition has changed from 24 hours to 32 hours, but part time staff are still only obligated to work 24. If at time of scheduling part time staff who have indicated on kronos/volcantis that they want to work 32 hours if available they can be scheduled without being called first.

How did we get here?:

The CUPE 1263 bargaining team initially reached a tentative agreement during regular negotiations.

But the membership voted down that tentative contract.

Long-term care workers in Ontario do not have the right to strike. In place of that right, there is an arbitration system to deal with impasse in negotiations.

A hearing in front of an arbitration board chaired by Arbitrator Burkett was scheduled for May 25. But before we got there the employer raised a preliminary objection. They argued that the Board should impose the terms of what was agreed to in bargaining and not move forward with a full hearing. There are a number of arbitration cases where  employers  have made a similar argument.

In the hopes that if our arguments were successful and we would be able to proceed with the hearing as scheduled, it was decided to deal with the preliminary objection by written submissions.

What did the Board do?:

The Board considered the submissions of both sides on the question of whether or not they should impose the terms of the tentative bargaining agreement (the employer’s position) or proceed to a full hearing (the union’s position).

Unfortunately for Cupe 1263 after considering the submissions of the parties on the legal question the Board decided that they should grant the employer’s objection and impose the terms of the deal. However, the Board is unable to legally impose a deal of more than 2 years without both sides agreeing. As a result the Board did not impose the full 4-year agreement the Employer was requesting, only the first two.

What else does this arbitrator decision mean for CUPE 1263 members?

  • Two year wage increase of 1.6% in the first year and 1.5% in the second year.
  • There is a reduction of flex days from 5 to 3 effective in 2021
  • Terms of said agreement will be effective as of may 31,2020 except were noted differently

If you have ANY questions about the settlement, please contact the CUPE 1263 office directly at: 905-732-4989 or email