Business Manager's Report to Fall 2013 E-Board
Business Manager Report
As everyone knows by now, we successfully completed a round of collective bargaining with NAV CANADA without resorting to a third party for assistance and (for the first time in memory) ratifying an agreement prior to its expiry. This agreement was not without its challenges. The pension changes proposed by the company were complex and the discussion around TOIL and overtime were difficult. However, we got the job done and that's what counts. Personally, I learned two things from this round of bargaining. First, agreeing to something as opposed to having it imposed requires great courage because you have to explain your actions. Second, you can never do enough educating on the subject of pensions and pension plans. The negotiating team was asked difficult and complex questions on the subject of pensions, pension benefits and NAV CANADA’s future intentions. More information to the members well in advanced of bargaining would have eased this somewhat. However, the job got done and we can look forward to a three year close period where the parties have opportunities to exercise creativity and do something meaningful for the members and employees.
Treasury Board of Canada
It's hard to imagine that IBEW Local 2228 could have such a productive relationship with one employer and such a poor one with another. The most recent round of bargaining with NAV CANADA is an example of what can be accomplished by preparation, hard work, mutual respect, clear mandates and plain old good faith.
Unfortunately the Treasury Board of Canada lead by Minister Tony Clement has seen fit to continually denigrate public service employees. One can only imagine what it's like to work for an organization that demands so much yet offers so little in encouragement and recognition.
Sadly, even line managers are targeted as scapegoats for the ills of the public service. More than unfair, it's immoral. And staying focused in that environment is very difficult. I commend every one of our members for staying on task. You are living up to your reputation as professionals.
It’s no surprise that Minister Clement has his eyes on your sick leave benefits. We would normally have to wait until bargaining to get additional information but Minister Clement prefers to put his final offer in the newspapers. So the challenge for your negotiating team (to be selected) is to decide exactly how to negotiate with an employer that has no interest in real bargaining and gives its spokespeople absolutely no mandate for creativity whatsoever.
Difficult times call for extraordinary measures so I am taking the time to consult with a broader group of members in advance of bargaining. This is not intended to replace any steering committee process. Rather, it is recognition that rank and file members need to be much closer to the decision making since they are significantly impacted by the decisions.
In spite of the employer's animosity towards public servants and the organizations that represent their interest, LU 2228 has been successful in a number of areas including grievances on travel, protecting the work of the bargaining unit and ensuring that employees gets fair pay for the work they do by successfully challenging job classifications.
Daniel J Boulet
Business Manager / Financial Secretary