Since the implementation of the Labour Market Development Agreements between the federal and provincial governments, the province delivers EI Part II benefits. The provincial government has maintained an Adjustment Advisory Program (AAP) with designated staff to facilitate action to support laid-off workers, including support for worker-led action committees and centres designed to provide peer support for laid-off workers, such as navigating the EI system, assistance with education and training, job searches, personal and emotional support and a plethora of other critical services.
In October 2011, the OFL Labour Adjustment Committee met with senior staff within Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to re-affirm the labour protocols that guide all aspects of the adjustment process. These protocols, signed by both MTCU and Labour representatives, will be used to train all action committee or action centre partners. The revised protocol is expected to by signed by mid-February. Copies of this agreement can be obtained from the OFL (contact Research and Education Director Pam Frache at firstname.lastname@example.org). It is critical that all unions engaged in labour adjustment issues have copies of this protocol.
Unfortunately, in December 2011, the MTCU suddenly eliminated the AAP Advisory staff classification that ensured provincial staff could focus on adjustment issues and develop a level of expertise in adjustment-related programs and policy. The result of this restructuring will mean a loss of expertise and much broader job descriptions for all public sector employees working in the department. There is speculation that such restructuring is designed to facilitate the layoffs that the Ontario government tabled in the 2011 Ontario Budget.
The OFL Labour Adjustment Committee will be meeting with senior MTCU staff at the end of January and has requested a meeting with Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Glen Murray.