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Collective Bargaining Update #5

Jan 8, 2016

The IBEW returned to formal negotiations with the Treasury Board for the first time since last January. Meeting from January 4th to the 6th, it was an opportunity to engage in bargaining without the political noise and pointless government rhetoric which dominated much of 2015.

The week was most moderately productive with the parties doing minor house cleaning and having open discussions on everything from job descriptions, call back, standby and vacation leave.  Unfortunately, our negotiations are hampered by the fact that the Treasury Board still hasn’t given their negotiators any kind of mandate or even clear instructions on where an agreement might be reached.  All topic appear to be under review, not just sick leave.

In spite of this the week closed with the IBEW tabling detailed language on sick leave. This is a follow-up from the framework we presented to the employer in the first weeks of bargaining in September 2014 .  Our proposal virtually mirrors the sick leave program at NAV CANADA. Why abandon the status quo? Because the IBEW is committed to negotiating a sick leave plan that doesn't discriminate against employees with fewer years of service.

No dates have been set for any future meetings. I expect it will be several more weeks before there is a clear sign the employer is ready to make important decisions.

In Solidarity,

Daniel J Boulet
Business Manager / Financial Secretary