TEAM Negotiations Update

To:         TEAM-IFPTE Local 161 Members
From:     TEAM Office
Date:      April 29, 2019
Re:        Negotiations Update

TEAM’s Negotiating Committee was looking forward to making good progress in the negotiations with Bell; however, as explained in our memo of April 16th, half way through our first scheduled negotiating day in April, Bell walked away and unilaterally cancelled the next meeting despite both parties agreeing that there was plenty to discuss.  Bell has since filed for conciliation with their lead negotiator claiming “The parties are clearly at impasse”.  This statement is plainly not true as it infers that there has been at least some discussion about monetary issues, (clearly the most significant topic for negotiation), when there has not been any negotiation on monetary issues.  An impasse cannot be said to have occurred until all significant areas of negotiation have at least been canvassed.  Therefore, moving to Conciliation at this point is premature. 

Our lead negotiator has written to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service setting out Bell’s conduct and the true facts about the status of these negotiations.  The letter is attached, or you can access it here

We have faced this pressure tactic in every round of negotiations since 2007, and under this approach, serious and meaningful negotiation is frequently put off until the “11th hour”.  Although this maneuver undoubtedly adds to an already stressful workplace environment, TEAM has always met the challenge and secured a revised Collective Agreement, voted on and approved by the members.  The conciliation timeline is as follows: 

  1. The Minister of Labour has up to 15 days from receiving the request for conciliation to appoint a conciliator.
  2. The conciliator has 14 days to contact the parties and set up a mutually convenient date to meet.
  3. The conciliator has 60 days after being appointed, unless extended by mutual agreement, to meet with the parties to review the outstanding issues and attempt to bring the parties closer together.
  4. Should the parties fail to reach an agreement through conciliation, a 21 day cooling off period begins, during which time the Minister can appoint a mediator.
  5. At the end of the cooling off period the parties are in a legal strike/lockout position.
  6. 72 hour notice is required prior to the commencement of a strike or lockout.  A union must have taken a strike vote before initiating any strike action.

We are compiling a FAQ memo to answer as many questions on the process as we are able.  If you have questions that you would like us to include, please email the TEAM office

Achieving a fair deal and resolving some of the issues members are facing is our goal.  Your support makes this possible and is greatly appreciated.  Thank you. 

TEAM-IFPTE Local 161
204-984-9470 or 1-877-984-9470