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Update on Bargaining and Classification – Future Dates

Mar 11, 2010

I am writing to update you on the status of our bargaining and classification dates with NAV CANADA.

I have committed to you in the past that we will complete our classification discussions prior to concluding negotiations for the renewal of our expired collective agreement.  For some time now, we have been running the processes concurrently.   While we have concluded talks on the development of the classification standard, we have not settled on the wages associated with the new plan. While we have started negotiations and tackled some non-monetary items, several monetary issues remain.  In short, we are part way through both of these processes.

On February 8, 2010 I reported we were planning to have the classification settled at the end of March through binding arbitration and continue bargaining on the remaining issues in April.  Unfortunately, we have not been able to find an acceptable arbitrator available on short notice so we have no choice but to delay binding arbitration until April.  The employer suggested we continue to work on the non monetary items at the end of this month to bring as many issues to resolution as we can.  For example, we have proposals related to staffing, hours of work, and occupational health and safety that need closure.  The dates that have been suggested are March 26-27.  I have discussed these dates with the bargaining team and they agree that we should make ourselves available to meet.  The employer has agreed to pay all travel and time off associated with this session.  These discussions will not bring a close to bargaining this round, but will bring us closer to a final settlement.

While we continue to wait for a counter proposal on our classification discussions, we have also set final dates of April 23-24 for an arbitration hearing.  As much as we would prefer to settle this without third-party intervention, the pressure of an arbitration hearing is our only alternative absent an agreement.

In Solidarity,

Daniel J. Boulet

Business Manager / Financial Secretary
Local 2228, IBEW