Telecommunications Employees Association of Manitoba
TEAM-IFPTE LOCAL 161
The Company has confirmed their availability to meet with your TEAM-IFPTE Bargaining Committee on February 22nd, 2008. This is the Friday prior to the Company’s self-imposed deadline to terminate the TEAM Collective Agreement on February 25th.
In recent presentations to MTS employees by the Company, it was implied that the Company was close to achieving renewed Collective Agreements with CEP and IBEW. TEAM is in regular contact with the other unions, and all indications are that bargaining is progressing slowly, with the DC issue yet to be formally addressed. It was further stated that the TEAM contract would be terminated, and that it would be good for everyone to have an agreement before then. There was no elaboration on what this would mean should TEAM not capitulate to the Company’s demands; however, the Company has already stated: “the termination of the collective bargaining agreement will not bar you from working. It will not negatively impact your pay, benefits or pension plan”. At this time, the Company’s offer still includes the introduction of a DC pension plan that will have a negative impact on the current MTS DB pension plan. It is difficult to comprehend how agreeing to the DC without effective protections for the DB is good for TEAM, TEAM members, and indeed any working pension plan member or retiree.
The proceedings of the Unfair Labour Complaint hearing, to be held later this month (see below), could have a significant influence on the bargaining session of February 22nd, and could provide the opportunity to sweep aside all outstanding roadblocks, enabling TEAM and MTS to reach a tentative Collective Agreement for presentation to the membership.
TEAM’s Unfair Labour Complaint to be heard this month
The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) has recognised that TEAM’s complaint against MTS Allstream is both serious and significant, and has expedited the hearing of the matter. The hearing is scheduled for February 12, 13 and 14 at the Federal Court Offices, Winnipeg. Three members of the [CIRB] board will be flying into Winnipeg to hear the complaint.
A case conference was held last Friday to discuss preliminary issues, one of which was IBEW’s request for intervener status. Despite IBEW members being just as much a party to the MTS pension plan, the lawsuit, and facing the DC at bargaining, the Company opposed the request. The Board will issue a decision on this specific matter this week.
We will keep you informed of any new developments.
Your TEAM-IFPTE Bargaining Committee