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Company Ends Mediation
Telecommunications Employees Association of Manitoba
A message to the TEAM membership:
Your Bargaining Committee met the company on Wednesday September 19, 2007 with the assistance of the federal mediator.  It took the company twenty minutes to present a final offer - essentially “a take it or leave it” offer.  We were extremely disappointed with the company’s tabling of a final offer, thereby refusing to continue to negotiate.  The company’s final offer does not address your key issues.
Here are some of the items in the company’s final offer:
·      The demand for a defined contribution pension plan (DC) is still on the table.
·     Nothing on health benefits, such as mandatory enrollment for all new employees and regular MTS contributions to the Blue Cross plan thus diminishing the possibility of a re-opener, or agreeing to add vision care.
·      Company wants to exclude nine additional positions from the bargaining unit - Appendix A, and has failed to include others unilaterally and arbitrarily moved out of scope.
·      No further movement on the layoff procedure – any laid off employee is still at the mercy of the Company’s “sole discretion”.
·    Nothing further on limiting the use, duration, number or training of contractors.
·       Nothing on training for TEAM members.
·      Nothing on eliminating the “C” scale.
·      Yearly increases of 2% 2% 2% over three years, effective in May as opposed to February in year two and three.
·      A VRIP maintaining the company’s sole right to layoff, even when budgetary requirements are meet.
·      A 1% increase to the Variable Pay Plan (VPP) from 5% to 6% for the 306-308 pay scales.  Introduce a 1% VPP for the 301-305 pay scales.  (Important Note: VPP is non-pensionable earnings).
Your Bargaining Committee chose to try again with the company.  A list of key issues was provided to the Company in order to try to obtain an offer that we could recommend to the membership.  We refined our already streamlined proposals provided to the company on September 7th.  
We provided the following list to the Company:
·      Remove the DC from the bargaining table.
·      Drop Appendix A and company proposed letter regarding scope of bargaining unit.
·      Provide mandatory access to Blue Cross for new employees and a regular % contribution by the company to the plan.
·      Eliminate “C” scale through a transition process.
·      Agree to TEAM letter of understanding on contractors (limits duration, purpose & quantity of contractors in the workforce) or proceed with the outstanding contractor grievance.
·      Strengthen the layoff procedure (e.g. remove sole discretion).
·      Agree to TEAM proposed general wording on the need for training.
·      An appropriate % annual salary increase.
·      Agree that workload is a health and safety issue and that there should be no reprisals for bringing forward workload issues.
The Company refused to respond to these priorities, though the mediator attempted to have them do so. With that, negotiations concluded; no further dates are scheduled.  
Moving forward, TEAM needs to analyze the company’s final offer in greater detail.  As well, we require legal advice on three of the items contained in the final offer.  An emergency CAR meeting is scheduled early next week to provide your Communication Action Representative with information on where we go from here.         
The Company says it has no plans to lock out TEAM members and we intend to hold the Company to their word.  As stated previously, TEAM has no intention of calling a strike vote.  We will provide to you a comprehensive analysis of our last offer, the company’s final offer, and copies of both.   We will also provide the bargaining committee’s recommendations and our plans on how we intend to move forward to achieve a fair and reasonable collective agreement. 
Your TEAM Bargaining Committee