Fairness and Respect – It’s the Right Thing to Do!
This week has been an eventful week in the TEAM office. There has been a flurry of activity amongst you the members and within the bargaining team.
We have continued to build on the many successful membership meetings held in May. There has been numerous follow-up phone calls, group meetings and surveys. It has been an exciting time as we listen to your views on your right to respect, fairness and dignity. We will be continuing with this and invite your views, suggestions and strategies to continue to build on the support and solidarity amongst our coworkers and our families.
As we have previously reported to you, we have continued to fulfill our professional duty to inform the customers and other stakeholders about the status of collective bargaining and the repercussions for service delivery. Our customers have appreciated receipt of this information and want to continue to be informed about the service delivery that we provide.
We have now met formally with the Company approximately 12 times. Unfortunately, there has been very little progress, let alone meaningful discussions about our mutual needs. The Company has now decided to apply to the Minister of Labour to bring in a professional conciliation officer, which we hope will provide a third-party influence to assist the Company to move to a meaningful bargaining process and recognize our right to fairness and respect.
However, this does move the collective bargaining process to a new level. This happened in our last round of collective bargaining when both parties used a neutral third-party to assist with bargaining.
It is important to point out the steps that may occur when a party applies to conciliation, and to remember that in the vast majority of cases, the parties agree and a collective agreement is in place. This is how bargaining takes place for most of the over three million unionized employees in Canada, including professional organizations such as ourselves. However, in a very small percentage of cases, the failure of conciliation could possibly lead to a lockout outcome.
THE CONCILIATION PROCESS
- Either party decides that bargaining will be more productive with the assistance of a neutral third-party.
- Application for the appointment of a conciliator is made to the Federal Minister of Labour.
- The Minister has up to 15 days to appoint a conciliator.
- Conciliator contacts the parties and sets up a mutually convenient date to meet – the conciliator has 14 days to setup and have this meeting, or longer if both parties agree.
- Conciliator meets with the parties to review outstanding issues and differences in an attempt to bring the parties closer together or to assist them with a process to bring them together. This can take as little as one day, or if the parties agree, it can go on over various scheduled dates over weeks and even months.
- Should the parties fail to reach an agreement either party can request a “no board” report from the Minister of Labour. Sometimes neither party request a “no board” report, and/or the conciliator chooses not to immediately notify the Minster, providing additional time for the process to perhaps succeed.
- Once the Minister receives a request for a “no board” report, the Minister will notify all parties, and after 21 days the parties will be in a legal lockout/strike position, if they so choose to do so.
- Even after the “no board” report, conciliators often continue to act to assist the parties as mediators.
WHAT WE STAND TOGETHER FOR
· Protect our Pension/Our Kids Come First:
- MTS wants to introduce a discriminatory two-tier defined contribution plan for all new hires doing the same jobs that we do.
- A defined contribution plan will also weaken our defined benefit plan.
· Job Security:
- Keep good skilled jobs in our communities.
- MTS refuses to agree that loyal long service Manitobans should have job security over contractors, sell offs and outsourcing.
· Dignity and Respect in the Workplace:
- MTS refuses to deal with fear and insecurity in the workplace.
· Ensuring a healthy work life balance:
- MTS refuses to put in place measures to control increasing workload and the resulting stress and illness.
· And we have yet to get to monetary issues, including two-tier pay scales and the VRIP.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE
Obviously, the TEAM bargaining committee is busy preparing for conciliation, which we hope will be a meaningful and helpful process.
The TEAM campaign committee continues to call members and arrange small group meetings.
Talk to your colleagues about their views on discrimination against young hires with a two tiered pension plan, the need for dignity and respect in the workplace, and what we all stand for together.
It’s about fairness, respect and dignity!