Q: What’s happening?
A: Our Collective Agreement ends on June 30, 2023. We have heard from a lot of you about your issues and are getting ready to bargain for a better agreement to serve our members. We did phone calls, in person meetings, and the electronic survey that was sent out Feb 1st this year.
Q: What is the reason we are bargaining?
A: We heard from a lot of our members that our wages have not been keeping pace with inflation. 92% voted it was essential, very important or important that we bargain on this issue. Additionally, 78% of members had some or great difficulty meeting their families’ financial needs.
Improvements on our existing benefits were considered Essential/Very Important/Important to 85% of our members.
When asked to rank the importance of bargaining issues, 79% of members identified salary as the number one issue, followed by; Benefits (53.6%) and then Working Conditions, Paid Leave/Vacation and Job Security (56% collectively).
Q: Should we be planning to strike?
A: We should be prepared for action. Steps are as follows:
- Notice to bargain – Either party can provide notice to bargain to the other, in writing, within 90 days before the agreement expires.
- The union and the employer have a legal duty to meet and to bargain in good faith, and to make every reasonable effort to conclude a collective agreement.
- At anytime the employer or the union can file for conciliation – A conciliator meets with the union and the employer to attempt to conclude a collective agreement. *We have just recently filed for conciliation
- At any time, the union can hold a strike vote.
- If we still cannot agree, a “no-board” is filed which starts a 17-day period until the union is in a strike position.
Note: It is not the desire of the union to go on strike. This information is just to explain the process.
Last time (June 2021), our members voted 90% in favour of job action up to and including a strike. This solidarity helped us settle an agreement without having to go actually go on strike. We hope to have the same support, especially after having gone through this pandemic which highlighted some of the inequities in our current agreement.
Q: What has the union done for us?
A: Thanks to the effort of labour unions, they have achieved: higher wages, more reasonable hours, safer working conditions, health benefits, and aid when retired or injured.
Q: Why did we file for conciliation?
A: Either party can file for conciliation. The role of the conciliator is to assist the parties to come to an agreement. The local has filed for conciliation to have the assistance in place prior to any impasse.