To: TEAM-IFPTE Local 161 Members
From: TEAM Office
Date: April 16, 2019
Re: Negotiations Update
After a break of more than a month, we were scheduled to be back at the negotiating table for two days, April 10th and April 16th. It was TEAM’s hope that during these days we would engage in constructive dialogue with Bell on outstanding proposals, of which there are many, including contractors, and even perhaps move to talking about monetary issues, of which there has not yet been any discussion. Additionally, in advance of the meeting on April 10th, TEAM provided the Company with an extensive revised VRTIP, job protection, and layoff proposal. Clearly there was plenty to talk about. However, after what seemed like positive progress in the morning session of April 10th, Bell’s negotiating team returned after lunch to state that negotiations were done for the day, and they needed to think about where they go from here. Our lead negotiator asked about the meeting on the 16th and our planned discussions on the contractors, only to be told that the Bell was cancelling the meeting.
With so many important matters of concern to employees still unresolved, including the health impact of excessive workloads, ongoing fear of job loss, undefined and expanding job scope, and inappropriately rated jobs, we are at a loss to understand Bell’s behaviour, and find it neither productive nor respectful of employees.
Under section 50 of the Canada Labour Code, both parties are required to “make every reasonable effort to enter into a collective agreement”. Our negotiating committee is living up to this obligation, and despite Bell’s current attitude, we remain committed to the process. We have communicated to Bell in clear language that we are open to discussing and working through their proposals, and in particular, discussing ways to mitigate or compensate our members where they might be negatively impacted. After this time of reflection on where they go from here, we hope Bell starts to take our members’ issues seriously, and that we get back to the table soon and can work towards reaching a fair settlement.
We will keep you apprised of future developments.