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Nav Canada Negotiations Update #1

Sep 28, 2009

NAV CANADA negotiations officially begin today with opening remarks and the formal presentation of each sides proposals. The proposals are available for download from our ftp site at ftp://mail.ibew2228.ca (“IBEW-NC_Subjects.zip”). In this first of four sessions the parties will immediately begin working on substantive issues such as hours of work, shift scheduling, travel and leave.

I also want to take this opportunity to explain our approach to communications while in bargaining. In past negotiations we provided regular updates on which clauses were signed off and which remain outstanding. This approach has its advantages in that the members know exactly which clauses are settled and which are not. The problem is that we didn’t disclose the nature of the changes (if any). So the members are left knowing something may have changed but no idea what it might be. This also leaves the negotiating team in the awkward position of saying something is "settled" when in fact nothing is really settled until a tentative agreement is reached.

Our approach for these negotiations will be different. The team will do its best to communicate the progress of negotiations as well as a list of the broad subjects discussed. We will provide as much information as we can without violating the confidentiality of the discussions. Recall that neither the union nor the employer has sole “ownership” of the information so unless there is mutual agreement to release information it must remain confidential. But if the team feels that we are reaching an impasse or that the employer is not taking your concerns seriously, you will certainly hear from me.

The strength of the bargaining team comes not only from the people at the table but also from the resolve of the members in the field. The negotiating team is committed to doing everything it can to reach a fair settlement in an expeditious manner. Our success depends on your support.

In solidarity,

Daniel Boulet,
Business Manager/Financial Secretary
Local 2228, IBEW