Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-34

Name of organisation making submission: DR-34 Unifor

Responses to questions in submission form

Section A - The Public Interest in this Review

1. What do you understand by public interest?

Issues that are in the public interest include:health and safety,consumer protection and the environment.

2. Who should the College serve? Who is “the public” in the public interest and what groups make up the public?

There is but one public, health and safety, consumer protection and the environment are important issues for the public as a whole. Therefore the college should serve to protect the public as a whole

3. How should the College make decisions in the public interest where different segments of the public may have opposing interests?

The college has many trade boards made up of stakeholders, these boards, are an excellent source of information,with regards to recommendations and soloutions.

4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

With only 22 out of 155 trades in Ontario that are compulsory, the compulsory trades are the only ones that are mandated to pay dues. This makes it really difficult to protect the public interest as a whole. There are also some concerns regarding some other regulatory bodies, such as TSSA and CWB ,but not limited to, have different mandates. Having numerous regulatory bodies causes conflict and this could be avoided by having ONE regulatory body i.e. OCOT.

5. How should the College advance the public interest?

The college should start to minimize all designer trades and sub trades. Streamlining the trades and eliminating employer specific trades. At 155 trades, Ontario has subdivided trades into skill sets.

Section B - Issues Related to Scopes of Practice (SoPs)

6. What impact do SoPs in regulation have on your daily work activities or on the way you conduct business? What aspects of an SoP are important to the work of your trade? Please explain.

SoPs have a huge impact. Lines of demarcation are what essentially define a trade and set the training guidelines that each apprentice is trained to. SoPs are a very important tool to ensure public safety, consumer protection and the environment.

7. Do you agree with the suggestion that trades may have core elements as well as peripheral elements?

Yes there are common core elements in machining trades for example, A potential problem arises when these elements or skill sets are separated and designer trades emerge.

8. What should be the key elements of an SoP? In particular, should the SoP for a trade list all of the tasks, activities or functions in which an apprentice should be trained, only those that are unique to the trade, or only those that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

Clearly defined SoPs would greatly assist in the training of apprentices. Some are too brief or vague to be affective.

9. How should a review or change in SoP be carried out?

A review should be carried out by the trade boards as they are made up of stakeholders. they should be reviewed by divisional boards. Open and transparent consultation is key.

10. Can or should the existing SoP provisions support the College’s diverse functions (e.g., apprenticeship training, enforcement, classification reviews)? Please explain.

Only after extensive review with all stakeholders,the trade boards and divisional boards would this be possible. A standard template should be used for this purpose.

11. Should the entire SoP for a compulsory trade be enforceable or be subject to enforcement? Please explain.

After the review mentioned above takes place only then would they be enforceable for compulsory trades. The SoPs would need to be specific and also comprehensive when it comes to overlapping responsibilities.

12. Could the College benefit from a distinct list of compulsory activities that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

This will vary from one trade to another both in severity and frequency. These activities need to be defined in the SoP.

13. What is your understanding of what an overlap between SoPs is?

Some trades have a common core element and therefore have an overlap.

14. Do overlaps between SoPs in regulation have an impact on your daily work or on the way you conduct business? Please explain.

They do but the SoPs are too vague or in-comprehensive to be used. A review is needed.

15. Does the application of the third legal interpretation principle on overlapping SoPs pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job? Please explain. If so, what can and should be done about it?

With only 22 compulsory trades mandated to become members of OCOT or risk losing there license,there is a mind set amongst voluntary trades that they don't have to become members of the college. By decreasing the number of trades such as employer specific or designer trades and making more trades compulsory the risk can be minimized.

Section C - Classification or Reclassification of Trades as Compulsory or Voluntary

16. What makes a compulsory trade compulsory and what makes a voluntary trade voluntary?

Historically public safety or public interest was the driving force behind this designation. All trades have an impact on the safety of the public or other workers. Under any of the other professional colleges in Ontario ,this is not the case. All are compulsory membership.

17. Is the current classification of trades as either compulsory or voluntary aligned with the College’s duty to serve and protect the public interest?

All trades in Ontario should be mandatory members of the college. The 22 trades are paying the membership and therefore paying for the trades that are not recognized by the college as compulsory. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible in order for the college to continue to function.

18. Is it reasonable to assume that there may be elements in the SoP for a trade that are inherently hazardous or that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job?

Some would have more risk than others. The SoPs should identify these risks and measures put into training modules for apprentice training.

19. Could compulsory certification be limited to either the core elements of a trade or those tasks, activities, or functions that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? What kind of impact would these approaches have on your daily work or on the way you conduct business?

Making skill sets compulsory rather than a trade is a dangerous path and should be avoided. All trades should have a C of A, C of Q and Red seal standards to be truly portable and recognized not just in Ontario but across Canada.

20. Should the College continue to rely on an adjudicative review panel approach (i.e., the Ontario Labour Relations Board model) or should a different model be considered? Please explain.

Yes the college should be responsible for resolving jurisdictional disputes. Perhaps a Dispute Review Panel. This panel could draw on ORLB case files although most of these files pertain to the construction trades and would be of little use in other sectors.

21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

By utilizing the trade boards. The tradespeople on the boards are the experts.

22. Are the current criteria for trade classification reviews set out in O. Reg. 458/11 consistent with the public interest? Please explain.

The current practice of compulsory vs voluntary situation has a negative impact on consumer protection and public safety. If all trades were compulsory and members of OCOT the playing field would be a level one.

23. Are the criteria specific, clear and measurable enough to inform you of what data and evidence are needed to meet those criteria?

See answer 19 and 22.

24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

Respondent did not provide a response to this question

Section D - Decisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB)

25. Do the scopes of practice (SoPs) in regulation reflect the way in which work is actually assigned in your trade or sector?

They need to be updated by the trade boards.

26. Do you agree with the notion that most jurisdictional disputes arise from peripheral elements of the trades? Please explain.

Yes, through the time honored and proven tradition of apprenticeship training most common practices are followed.

27. What consideration should the College give, if any, to the decisions made by the OLRB in jurisdictional or work assignment disputes under the Labour Relations Act? If the College were to adopt the OLRB's decisions, what impact would that have on your trade and the way you conduct business? Please explain.

They are in relation to the construction trades and have little bearing in other sectors. There is some overlap however.

Section E - General Response and Comments

28. Please provide additional comments below, if any.

Presently with the 155 Trades in Ontario a large segment, approximately 95, only exist in Ontario, most if not all have no C of Q, no Red Seal and therefore there is no mobility. Through harmonization and moving to a list of authentic trades whereby they would all have a C of A, C of Q, Red Seal and Compulsory, the OCOT would be providing security to protect the Public Interest, provide a professional and secure career path for youth, provide a better focus for in school and on-the-job Apprenticeship training, make the Trade safer for the Public and others and reduce the cost of maintaining a lot of Trades that are employer specific or designer trades. After this step all trades should be made compulsory and mandatory to be a member. The College funding has been problematic from the start. Some trades have spoken against the trades based on this fact alone. The College, to function properly, will certainly require funding. If all the trades were required to become members perhaps this cost could be spread more evenly amongst the trades. The office space on Bay Street has raised a few questions from our members and possibly we could look for less expensive alternatives to further help bring costs down. The Industrial exemption would need to be maintained until such a time that the Industrial trades became compulsory and then the Industrial and Construction trades would need to both be able to perform work where the Industrial Exemption applies. This could easily be covered in the scope of practice. Unifor are thankful to participate in this open call for consultation. Expanding skilled trade participation through increased apprenticeship opportunities and enrollment in the College is a priority for our union. The positions outlined in this submission are in keeping with those goals. We would like to request a meeting with Tony Dean in order to further discuss this submission. Please contact John Breslin at 416.316.0926 or to arrange a time that it is mutually convenient.