TORONTO – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has strongly condemned the decision of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) to move a large portion of its enterprise technology service (ETS) to a company in India next year. OTPP will eliminate 12 full-time management and 38 bargaining unit jobs.
OTPP says the action is necessary, noting:
- A “deficiency” exists between investment in IT and ETS.
- An increase in workload needs exceeds OTPP’s capability.
- The current contract is set to expire, providing an opportunity for “reorganization.”
- The outsourced group offers around-the-clock service.
“We were blindsided,” said OPSEU Local 598 President Jeff Billard. “The employer only informed the union at 9 a.m. yesterday prior to informing employees at 11:30 a.m. I’m deeply disappointed by the total lack of consultation and late notice of the decision.”
Affected employees’ positions will be maintained until January 1, 2017, after which the jobs will move to the Indian company. Voluntary resignation offers are being proposed, but it is up to the bargaining unit to decide how to tackle the situation.
“It’s put us in a tough situation,” Billard continued. “If we negotiate with the employer and accept the voluntary resignations, it could be interpreted as indicating our submission to outsourcing. That could erode our strength to fight further outsourcing in the future.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas was quick to denounce the decision, which he called a “sellout” of employees by OTPP.
“Here we have a multi-billion-dollar pension plan that represents Ontario teachers – a group of unionized workers who have gone to great lengths to preserve jobs – laying off Ontarians so they can pay workers in India a lot less,” he said. “I find this decision ironic, shortsighted, and deeply offensive.
“I trust teachers will waste no time in telling OTPP to scrap the move and keep these jobs in Ontario for Ontarian workers and the children who depend on them – the very ones who attend Ontario schools.”