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Federal Government Bargaining Update #3

Mar 17, 2011

You may have noticed that the Federal Government has completed a series of agreements with smaller unions which do not include severance.  Both the East and West Coast Dockyards Trades And Labour Councils as well as the Finance Officers reached tentative agreements with the employer that do not include  any concessions on severance pay.

These are short-term agreements which carry the groups up to the expiry of the Expenditure Restraint Act (ERA).  We requested the employer consider a similar agreement for us.  This would give the members a 1.5% increase with no other changes to the collective agreement.  It would expire on August 31, 2011 so we would be right back at the negotiating table this fall or early next year.  We patiently await the employer's response to this proposal.

Members should be aware that these are particularly difficult negotiations because the employer will not budge on their demand for concessions on severance pay.  Add to this the threat of this (and possibly other) concessions being forced on the unions through a budget, there is little to motivate the employer to engage in true collective bargaining.

Notwithstanding these difficulties, your union will do what it can to secure reasonable terms and conditions of employment for its members.  Your negotiating team appreciates your patience.

In solidarity,

Daniel J Boulet
Business Manager / Financial Secretary