NR Bargaining Update - September 2016
Your NR Bargaining Team met with the Employer from September 27-29, 2016. During the summer, the Institute had continued working on priority issues in order to be prepared for a resumption of bargaining. News on this subject can be found at: http://www.pipsc.ca/portal/page/portal/website/memberservices/representation/cb/pdfs/news9.en.pdf
The decision to move discussions on Sick Leave to a central table was made in recognition of the complex issues involved, and the reality that discussion at every Group Bargaining table was not efficient. In addition it was felt that this would allow Groups to focus on their specific priorities.
We approached this round with a great deal of optimism. Our preparations included a thorough review of our priorities and proposals, in order to “clear the table” and kick start the process, with a view to achieving a fair, negotiated settlement.
Upon meeting the Employer, we clearly outlined our intentions and followed through withdrawing a number of our proposals. Unfortunately it soon became obvious that the Employer had no desire to move forward, seeming to lack interest in and understanding of our issues.
With our optimism fast-fading, we raised the specific issue of payment of Professional dues, a priority for us. Despite our long and detailed presentation, the Employer essentially dismissed our concerns. Even more frustrating, they failed to engage in any meaningful discussion or even to acknowledge the problem, despite having done so previously. Clearly, we are not moving forward on this particular issue, but going backwards.
On the last day, we summarised our frustrations and informed the Employer that if there was no meaningful movement in the near future, we would be declaring an impasse and filing for binding conciliation, where unresolved issues are referred to a tri-partite panel (a union rep, an Employer rep and a neutral Chair) for a decision. The result is binding on both sides and is incorporated into the new Collective Agreement.
The 3 days were frustrating, pathetic, and insulting. Despite this, we will continue to focus on our priorities and a path forward to achieving a fair agreement for all.