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Treasury Board Seeks to Restore Balance in Labour Relations

Jun 10, 2016

The President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Scott Brison, sent a letter to each head of the bargaining agents announcing measures to restore some balance to collective bargaining.  The goal of these measures is to facilitate the negotiation of collective agreements. At its core, Mr Brison is inviting the unions to choose their preferred dispute resolution process: conciliation-strike or binding arbitration.

In 2013, the Conservative government introduced legislation which severely tilted the balance of power toward the employer.  One of the measures that affected our group was to bar our access to binding arbitration, a dispute resolution process favoured by our members in past rounds of bargaining.  Making matters worse was the different approaches taken by each department in determining the designated positions.  Even though 100% of the positions in a department were designated, the overall designation levels were below the 80% threshold required to access binding arbitration.  Mr Brison is righting this wrong.

So now it is up to members to decide which dispute resolution process they wish to follow.  I will be discussing this with your negotiating team next week and a letter with recommended course of action will follow to all members shortly thereafter.  The Local’s default dispute resolution process is conciliation-strike so any deviation from that process requires the support of the members.

Members should ensure that the Business Office has your current address on file.  I must also point out that only Members in good Standing (completed a membership application and paid a joining fee) will be eligible to vote on the decision.  If you have not formally joined the union then it is in your interest to do so and have your say on this important decision.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information.

In Solidarity,

Daniel J Boulet
Business Manager / Financial Secretary