Collective Bargaining Update #3
As noted on our May 8 web posting, the union’s negotiating team met this week to discuss the state of negotiations as well as the impact of the Conservative government's Budget Implementation Act, Bill C-59. You’ll be able to read my views of the Bill in the context of collective bargaining in an upcoming Business Manager’s Corner. But for those who are more interested in the specifics of the Bill, here’s what you need to know: when the Conservatives pass this Bill it will not have any immediate effect on your current terms and conditions of work BUT it will give the Treasury Board to power to impose a new sick leave regime unilaterally and at whim.
Another event of note is that at the Employer’s request I met informally with my employer counterpart at the negotiating table. The meeting was cordial, informative and it was time well spent. We requested more information for some subjects and outlined our position on others. Anytime the parties are talking it should be seen as a positive sign, however we are still very far apart on sick leave and wages. The employer’s most recent proposal to us dated January 20 falls far short of what is needed and fair. Worse still, the Treasury Board insists on managing a short-term disability plan outside the collective agreement. This is patently unacceptable. Sick leave and short-term disability go hand in hand and you can’t discuss one without discussing the other.
The union and employer agreed to meet again beginning October 14. This will give your team the time to consider the ideas put forward this week and prepare an appropriate response.
Your negotiating team is doing everything it can to protect your sick leave and disability insurance but these are very difficult times. If the challenges we face had anything to do with collective bargaining, we would have found a solution by now. But you know as well as I that the root cause of this conflict lies elsewhere.
Daniel J BouletBusiness Manager / Financial Secretary