NRC-TR BARGAINING UPDATE JANUARY 2009
A tentative agreement was reached between the NRC-TR Group and NRC on November 26.
The agreement was reached under very unusual and rather strained conditions. Over the course of the past year of negotiations, NRC was asking for many disadvantageous changes to our current agreement and was not receptive to our requests. Then the government imposed extraordinary conditions on all negotiations: it announced legislation imposing a rigid framework of salary increases over a fixed four-year term: 2.3% in the first year and 1.5% in three subsequent years. Furthermore, a scheduling crisis for negotiations was created by imposing a midnight deadline for signed agreements. We were warned that if we did not sign, the government might even legislate a zero economic increase over four years.
We were asked to share a bargaining table with the RO/RCO and LS Groups. The Group went to the bargaining table on Wednesday, November 26 with Bob Luce (the PIPSC Negotiator replacing our regular negotiator Glen Chochla, Sarah Mangione (IS Group Executive V-P), two RO/RCO representatives and one LS representative.
NRC's final offer consisted of the following:
- A vacation carry-over clause restricting accumulated carry-over to seven weeks and requiring a two-week/year pay-down for excess accumulation commencing in 2010.
- Salary increases of 2.3%, 1.5%, 1.5%, and 1.5%.
- A conversion of the present marriage leave to a generic one-time leave available to all employees.
- A contract duration of four years (to 2011)
NRC stated, and reiterated repeatedly, that the signing of the contract was dependent on our acceptance of the vacation cap. They were unwilling to consider any other requests. More specifically, our request for a reduction in the number of years of service required to increase vacation leave was flatly refused without consideration.
It would be fair to say that this agreement was made under duress; however we conceded that the promise of an economic increase was more favourable than the real risk of legislation and no pay increase at all.
The deal is what it is: not great but other NRC and TB tables fared no better. It is clear that TB was not prepared to negotiate seriously and by extension, nor was NRC.
More details to follow regarding how we will proceed from here as soon as they are available.
Your Bargaining Team