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City of Sault Ste. Marie

August 02, 201602 August 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Sault Ste. Marie to discuss a proposed plan to realign fire services and EMS. The meeting was closed under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. During the closed session, the fire chief gave a presentation to council that covered the effect of the realignment on the local union, as well as a number of other repercussions. The Ombudsman found that the portion of council’s discussion about the local firefighters’ union fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that other topics covered in the presentation, such as risk management, effect on service levels, and financial savings generally do not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. However, the Ombudsman found that those topics were not discrete and were included to inform council’s discussion about labour relations and were not required to be parsed from the discussion. Therefore, council’s discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

City of Sault Ste. Marie

August 02, 201602 August 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Sault Ste. Marie to discuss a proposed plan to realign fire services and EMS. The meeting was closed under the labour relations and employee negotiations exception. During the closed session, the fire chief gave a presentation to council that covered the effects of the realignment on the local union, and a number of other repercussions. The Ombudsman found that the portion of council’s discussion about the local firefighters’ union fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that other topics covered in the presentation, such as risk management, effects on service levels, and financial savings generally do not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. However, the Ombudsman found that those topics were not discrete and were included to inform council’s discussion about labour relations, and were not required to be parsed from the discussion. Therefore, council’s discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

Township of Russell

April 19, 201619 April 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell to discuss councillor compensation and employee compensation. Council’s discussion about staff compensation involved a discussion about systematic changes to the municipality’s salary grid. While the municipality did not rely on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception, the Ombudsman found that compensation matters relating to staff members fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that councillor remuneration matters do not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception since council members are not municipal employees.

Township of Bonfield

November 23, 201523 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Public Works Committee for the Township of Bonfield that relied on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception to discuss employee performance matters in the municipality. During the discussion, the committee raised the issue of the performance of two identified employees. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the cited exception.

Township of Black River-Matheson

January 09, 201509 January 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Black River-Matheson to discuss an ongoing labour dispute with its unionized employees, relying on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussions fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

City of Timmins

April 09, 201409 April 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Timmins that relied on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception to discuss the annual wage increase for council and non-union staff. It was the municipality’s long-standing practice to link council salaries to non-union staff salary rates. The discussion did not specifically address council remuneration separate from consideration of the general wage increase to apply to non-union staff. The Ombudsman found that the labour relations or employee negotiations exception applies to relations and conditions of work beyond those of collective bargaining, including remuneration outside of a traditional employment arrangement. The Ombudsman found that council’s consideration of a wage increase for non-unionized staff fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that the exception may only apply to council remuneration where it is linked to non-union staff remuneration and there is no separate consideration of council salaries.

Town of Amherstburg

September 12, 201312 September 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg to discuss an organizational review of the municipality’s staff. The meeting was closed under the labour relations and employee negotiations exception. During the closed session meeting, a consultant presented a report to council on the roles and responsibilities of staff members and information on how the findings would affect both unionized and non-unionized staff. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the cited exception. General discussions regarding a municipal organization chart and various staff positions would not fit within the labour relations and employee negotiations exception. However, the Ombudsman found in this case that the information was for background and context for the labour relations discussions.