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2006 End of Year Review
To all TEAM members:
As we quickly approach the end of 2006, I want to recap TEAM’s year.  It is with increased participation and support from you, the members, that TEAM has been able to accomplish so many things this year.  Our industry and company have undergone many changes, and TEAM has changed to meet these challenges.  Some of the key highlights of the year are:
 
TEAM establishes a Communications Action Network (CAN)
  • Creation of a communications action network (CAN) utilizing member communication action representatives (CAR) to actively aid in the flow of communication from the members to the TEAM office and from the TEAM office to the members. At this point just over 50% of our members have CARs to disseminate information.  We can use more CARs and the TEAM office would welcome volunteers.  The goal is to have 100% of the members participate in the communication action network.
Members Ratify a Substantial Dues Increase & Affiliation with IFPTE 
  • The members of TEAM ratified a vote to increase the biweekly dues. The additional funds allow us to continue the pension lawsuit battle; conduct research to assist in preparation for collective bargaining; increase the number of office staff to better serve the members with the growing number of complaints and grievances; conduct training with the executive and Communication Action Representatives; and start a defence fund.
  • The members of TEAM ratified a vote to affiliate with the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE). The IFPTE has a wealth of resource information and access to industrial intelligence which we can now also access.  The IFPTE also opened communication avenues to other professional associations and unions for us.
Courts Deny Summary Judgment Motion sending Pension Lawsuit to Trial
  • The company filed a summary judgment motion in court to dismiss the pension lawsuit, claiming the courts did not have jurisdiction in this matter as the independent actuary's determination that the plans were equal was final.  Judge Kennedy denied the claim and the court case can now proceed to trial.  This is a great ruling for us and bodes well for the future outcome of the lawsuit.  MTS can no longer claim that the pension lawsuit has no merit. 
IFPTE Conducts Training Seminar for Strategic Bargaining Campaign
  • Members of the executive and the Communications Action Representative attended a two day retreat in Gimli during October.  The outcome of the retreat was the start of the Strategic Bargaining Campaign in preparation for negotiations early next year.  A negotiations committee, a collective agreement committee and a research committee were established. 
Members Stand Together to Negotiate Improved Severance Packages for all MTS Media Members at YPG.
  • The TEAM office staff, members of the TEAM executive, Media members and the IFPTE staff associate worked together during the MTS Media sale to Yellow Pages Group to achieve enhanced VRIP and retention packages for our members who were transferred to YPG and then laid off. 
TEAM Membership Petition Produces Results.
  • Through the communications action network, hundreds of TEAM members signed a petition about jobs and the impact of the current downsizing strategy on our futures and the futures of our communities while the company keeps contractors on the job.  With the assistance of the IFPTE we were able to present the petition simultaneously to the President, Consumer Markets division in Winnipeg and in Toronto to the CEO of MTS Allstream.
  • Within a week of delivering the petition to the CEO of MTS Allstream, Mr. Blouin, we were invited to a meeting with him at which time TEAM presented our members concerns with regards to sell-offs, terminations, and the continued retention and hiring of contractors while MTS is downsizing.  An added benefit for our fellow employees was that both CEP and IBEW were also invited to separate meetings with the CEO. 
TEAM Renews Labour Relations Retention Contract with Law Firm Providing Enhanced Membership Value
  • The TEAM office negotiated reduced legal fees for TEAM and its members, with D’Arcy & Deacon LLP barristers & solicitors. 
The TEAM Website Redesigned: www.teamunion.mb.ca
  • Please take a look and e-mail us your critique.
All the best for the holiday season.  For those who celebrate it; Merry Christmas.  May 2007 be a peaceful and positive year for you and your families.
 
As this will be my last year as your TEAM president; I wish to state that it has been a pleasure working with and serving all of you.
 
In Solidarity
 
Susan Bilyk
President TEAM
 
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“I am only one; but I am still one.
I cannot do everything; but still I can do something.
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”  - Edward Everett Hale