Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writing a note to your MPP - regardless of their party affiliation to protest the Employer's Collective Agreement proposals

Letter writing campaigns can be remarkably successful.  AMAPCEO has requested that its membership write a letter to their MPP to let them know that we consider their latest negotiation tactics and proposal to be unsatisfactory and mean spirited. 

AMAPCEO has a suggested letter template located on the website that members can use as the basis of a letter to their MPP. AMAPCEO is also encouraging members to personalise their MPP letters.  During mass campaigns, this helps letters to stand out.

For example, I'm providing a letter written by AMAPCEO activist Maryanna Lewyckyj, a former journalist (see letter below). I have taken the liberty of posting Maryanna's letter.  The letter has been circulated amongst a small group of people as an alternative to the one posted on the AMAPCEO website. Her letter includes some background information to support AMAPCEO's request for a fair deal. 

Whatever approach you take, the important thing is for people to get involved and let their MPP know how they feel.  I have included a link to each MPP's contact details that you will find useful.  Click Here.

As a constituent and public servant, I’m writing to you to draw your attention to a situation which former Secretary of Cabinet Tony Dean has described as “a recipe for low morale – just at the time we want public servants to stand tall and be their best.”

It concerns ongoing negotiations for the 11,000-plus members of AMAPCEO, the second-largest bargaining agent in the Ontario Public Service. AMAPCEO members have already made key sacrifices to meet fiscal restraint goals:
  • In the last contract, AMAPCEO fixed-term contract workers had fewer vacation days than the minimum entitlement under the Employment Standards Act.
  • The 2013 Ontario budget noted the agreement included a two-year wage freeze and the restructuring of merit pay, short-term sickness benefits and time-off provisions, which would result in cost avoidance of $24.6 million in 2012-13 and $30.4 million 2013-14.
The Liberal government has boasted that Ontario ranks lowest among all provinces in terms of public sector employees per capital (6.5 public sector employees per 1,000 people in 2012, compared to a national average of 9.7 employees per 1,000 people).

Despite this, the government is proposing drastic changes for AMAPCEO workers including:
  •  Freezing pay: Through a new incentive pay structure where 60% of AMAPCEO workers (even those deemed fully effective) would not receive incentive pay. It would be possible for a fully effective employee to work an entire career without reaching the maximum of his/her salary range.
  •  Massive healthcare cuts: Replacing paramedical coverage, currently $1,200 per family member for most services (physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage, etc.) with a $600 Health Care Spending Account for all family members for all services. 
  • Forced retirement: Long-Term Income Protection benefits would cease the moment a recipient is eligible for an unreduced pension (instead of age 65). Forced retirement for those on LTIP means that workers must retire, even if they were expecting to fully recover and return to work.
Meanwhile, it’s estimated Ontario is missing out on more than $18 billion a year in revenues because of tax cuts dating from 1995 onwards. A good chunk of the tax cut largesse isn’t being pumped back into the economy. In 2012, former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney criticized Canada businesses for amassing a cash hoard of $526 billion of ‘dead money’ that wasn’t being invested productively or returned to shareholders. Since 2012 that cash hoard has continued to balloon. 

A recent International Monetary Fund report looked at the amount of ‘dead money’ held by non-financial firms, and found corporate Canada is leading the G7. The cash stash in Canada has almost doubled between the mid-1990s and 2012. At $626 billion, the amount exceeds the national debt. Ontario must look at ways to get corporate Canada to loosen its purse strings and stimulate the economy. Attacking public servants won’t achieve this goal. 

Running Canada’s biggest province requires a lot of brainpower, dedication and attention to detail. There’s a fine line between targeting savings and shooting yourself in the foot. Please ask the government to seek a fair deal with AMAPCEO workers and other civil servants rather than ripping apart the fabric of the Ontario Public Service benefits safety net. 


  1. MPP contact info:;jsessionid=c72d607930da5dba6ce6c1224762863bced53fef98d0.e3eRb3iNcheNe3qOaxyLbxeRbO1ynknvrkLOlQzNp65In0?locale=en&ord=Riding&dir=ASC&list_type=all_mpps

    1. Thanks for the link Margaret. It is similar to the link that I posted in the post. Now we have even more choice :)