We are entering into a new phase of our campaign for fairness in our workplace. We are aware that many of you may be winding down; our kids are finished school and looking forward to time at the Lake. Summertime is a wonderful family time. However, we also need to focus on the steps needed to move forward to obtain a fair and reasonable Collective Agreement which will provide you and your family the respect and safeguards you deserve.
Report On Activities
Last week’s lunch time BBQ was a great success; over two hundred TEAM members turned out at short notice and took advantage of the wonderful weather, the hot “smokies” and a chance to speak with your bargaining team and executive. TEAM bargaining negotiator Bob Linsdell, formerly from MTS Media, spoke about where we are in the bargaining process and highlighted the priorities for bargaining based upon meetings with you this past year and the bargaining surveys.
Dates have been set with the conciliation officer. Conciliation will start next Wednesday July 4th until Friday July 6th. We are hopeful that through the assistance of a third-party, meaningful bargaining will begin. The Company has reported to all employees that they “believe that this process will help move discussions forward in a positive way”. We are hoping that the process will move the Company bargaining committee to actually bargain and respond to the concerns you have asked us to put forward and address. The meetings will take place at the Fairmount Hotel and we will provide you with a full report of the progress.
Collective bargaining is a multidimensional process. There are various relationships influencing the parties and the process, which are not necessarily represented at the bargaining table. Obviously, this includes upcoming negotiations with both the CEP and IBEW, the MTS Allstream business plan, industry changes, etc.
You are the most important relationship for TEAM, and we need to collectively demonstrate to the employer that we are standing together for a fair and reasonable collective agreement. With this in mind, we are distributing “desk tents” as a way of supporting each other and sending a united message to the employer that we, the many new and long-serving hardworking professional employees of MTS Allstream, deserve fairness and respect.
We want this message to be coordinated with the conciliation process, so that your TEAM negotiators are bargaining with the open support of the membership. Such support can make a critical difference in securing a fair and reasonable collective agreement.
Show your support on Thursday, July 5 and place your tent on your desk.
We are not alone in our campaign for fairness and equality. Kenneth Georgetti, President of the Canada Labour Congress which represents over 3.2 million Canadian employees has written to MTS Allstream CEO Pierre Blouin about the importance of defined benefit pension plans -
“… they have proven to be a valuable resource of employee retention. As the impacts of our aging society take hold, and employers grapple with strategies to attract talent in a shrinking labour force, defined benefit pension coverage will be an important workplace incentive.”
And here at MTS Allstream, CEP has also written to the employer that they too are opposed to a two-tier pension system, and that the employer’s proposal of a defined contribution pension plan is not in their member’s best interest.
FAIRNESS and RESPECT!
Your TEAM Bargaining Committee