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TEAM Collective Agreement Bulletin
Telecommunications Employees Association of Manitoba
TEAM-IFPTE LOCAL 161
 
 
Ballot Results on Company’s Last Offer
 
Again we would like to thank the membership for participating in this vote, and for providing a strong message to the Company from their employees, our members.
 
Following the announcement of our ballot result on October 29, a number of TEAM Members expressed an interest in knowing the detail of the “No” vote.  A small number speculated that if only a few more had voted, then the result may have been different.  The following illustrates that this would not have been the case:  The number of members that participated in this vote is unprecedented in TEAM’s history, with close to 85% of the membership casting a vote, and yet, if the other 15% had voted, and all the contractors and all the out-of-scope staff had a right to vote, and all of these together voted “Yes”, the result would still have been “No”.
 
It has been the practice that TEAM has never given out detailed percentages of a vote, whether it was an extremely good result or very close to 50/50.  As an example, TEAM members have returned a vote where the result was close to 100% in favour, and we still never gave out the details.  The reason for this is simply that the information, if provided as an absolute number is critical intelligence to the Company.  From this information it could be worked out just how much, or how little an offer needs to be tweaked to have it accepted, while at the same time, giving up as little as possible.  When TEAM makes a statement like "unanimous" or "large majority" and any similar statements, it has to be true, else the membership would lose trust in their TEAM representatives should the truth be quite different and later revealed.
 
As we move forward in this process, your Bargaining Committee will take your strong “No” vote message to the Company, and TEAM sincerely hopes that the Company will receive the message in the manner it was intended, which is to continue the bargaining process to achieve a fair and equitable Collective Agreement.
 
Mediation
 
The federal conciliator (now mediator) has been in contact with TEAM and the Company, and we anticipate a meeting with Company representatives shortly.
 
Unfair Labour Complaint
 
MTS is expected to respond to TEAM’s Unfair Labour Complaint within the next 10 days.  The Unfair Labour Complaint was filed October 22nd, and was in regards to the Company’s last offer.
 
Other
 
During bargaining, TEAM terminated the Contractor Letter of Understanding (LOU) and proposed a new Contractor LOU that would enable MTS to continue to utilize contractors, but not to the detriment of employees.  MTS rejected TEAM’s proposal.  TEAM filed a grievance and this week, arbitrator Mr. Gavin Wood was appointed to hear the grievance.  Note: MTS Allstream included their own version of an Engagee (Contractor) LOU in their last offer; the wording in this proposed LOU failed to address many of our members’ concerns around the Company’s use of contractors.
 
TEAM members continue to do their best, even during this time of uncertainty, as evidenced by yet another great MTS Allstream quarterly result.  In Mr. Blouin’s conference call to the employees last week, employees in Manitoba were recognized for the excellent service provided to customers.  TEAM-IFPTE 161 is hopeful that this recognition and the great results translate into further dialogue with the Company to explore opportunities to move negotiations forward.
 
Thank you for your support,
 
Your TEAM Bargaining Committee