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Collective Bargaining Update #4

Sep 28, 2015

My last update to members was on June 13 of this year. At that time, the government had recently passed legislation giving itself the right to impose a sick leave regime without your consent and outside the collective bargaining process. Since then, several unions (ours included) put their names to a complaint to the International Labour Organization. We also sought an injunction to block the Treasury Board from imposing a new sick leave system outside the collective bargaining process. These complaints and actions are working their way through various courts and tribunals. I also indicated in my previous post that we tentatively scheduled a meeting with the employer for October 14-16.

Well things have changed. Near the end of July, the government called an election for October 19. The result is that few people have any authority to make significant decisions and those that do are out on the campaign trail hoping to keep their job. The outcome is by no means certain so there is simply no point in meeting with the Employer so soon before the election. Regardless of the outcome, one side or the other will want to reassess their approach and strategy. To this end, the union and employer agreed to postpone the October meeting until January 12-14. The political landscape will have settled and we’ll be in a better position to make critical decisions.

Whether we like it or not (and I don’t) this round of bargaining has been highly politicized. For public servants, this election is very much a vote on the government’s bargaining mandate. Like any ratification vote, you can say “no”. I encourage you to read the President’s message on the importance of voting.

In Solidarity,

Daniel J Boulet

Business Manager / Financial Secretar