TORONTO, May 15, 2013 /CNW/ - In another example of how it refuses to
comply with orders from the Grievance Settlement Board of Ontario
(GSB), the Ministry of the Attorney General today announced it intends
to contract-out the transcription work of about 650 court reporters.
"Where is this all going to end?" asked Jim Jurens, a spokesperson for
the court reporters across Ontario represented by the Ontario Public
Service Employees Union (OPSEU). "Will these jobs one day end up in
India or the southern U.S.?"
The Ministry has been trying to eliminate the transcription work of
court reporters from its payroll for almost 15 years, despite rulings
by the GSB that the highly-sensitive work of court reporters in the
province's criminal justice system rightfully and legally belongs to
those in the OPSEU bargaining unit.
In 2006 GSB Vice-Chair Randi Abramsky ruled that transcript production
is the bargaining unit work of court reporters and is protected by the
collective agreement OPSEU negotiated with the employer. The Ministry
ignored her ruling by imposing legal tactics and other stalling
In March, 2013, Vice-Chair Nimal Dissanayake issued an order to the
Ministry directing it to stop its violation of the collective agreement
and to stop treating court reporters as independent contractors.
As a result of the Dissanayake decision OPSEU has taken the issue to the
Superior Court of Justice asking it to order the Ministry to abide by
the GSB ruling.
Jurens said that if the Ministry is successful in forcing its will on
court reporters their incomes could be cut by more than half. "The
employer is prepared to see its own employees lose their homes if this
sort of wage loss succeeds."
OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas, said the actions of the Ministry
of the Attorney General are another example of the arrogance displayed
by the current government.
"Ethically, morally and legally it is a disgrace that the Ministry
chooses to walk away from these GSB decisions with impunity," said
Thomas. "We shouldn't be surprised, though. This sort of behavior is
typical of a government whose overriding aim is to gut public
SOURCE: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
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