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Negotiations Update - Feedback from Members

To:          TEAM-IFPTE Local 161 Members
From:      TEAM Office
Date:       April 8, 2016
Re:          Negotiations Update - Feedback from Members

Earlier this week we met with members from different areas to discuss our ongoing contract negotiations and to gather feedback.  A number of common concerns and themes were expressed during the meetings, including:

  • Some areas are resigned to a strike or lockout during this round of negotiations, while others consider the conciliation process part of the normal MTS negotiating strategy.  While it is true that this seems like MTS’s normal way of negotiating, it hasn’t always been like this.  What is different this time is the senior management team and the labour relations history of its key players.
  • Are we overreacting?  We don’t thinks so.  MTS calling in a conciliator this early in the process is unprecedented and has forced us to ramp up our own strike/lockout preparations.  Once the conciliation process has been initiated, the clock is ticking towards a potential strike or lockout.
    The Conciliator was appointed on April 4th and timelines for conciliation, mediation and 72 hour notice to strike or lockout can be found here.  We are hoping for the best, working to get a fair deal, but preparing for the worst.  We have already written to former employees  asking them to refuse to do our work in the event of a strike or lockout.
    We encourage members to consider their own situation should the worst happen, and to plan accordingly.
  • Morale is low, workloads excessive and people are stressed.  In some areas it appears that the cuts in staff have gone so deep that the work cannot be done, and some members are being encouraged to work extra hours and not claim overtime, i.e. donate their personal time.
    It is worth noting that everyone who suggests you work extra hours without compensation is paid more than you, often significantly more.
  • Concerns were expressed about erosion of pay and benefits, job downgrades, and the unfairness of a two-tier Collective Agreement, for example three vs five PLDs, and inequities in the Variable Pay Plan.  We have alerted MTS of our intention to address many of these concerns at the negotiating table.
  • Additional information on TEAM’s proposals would be welcome.  A memo is being prepared that details the proposals discussed so far.

Please contact the office if you and members in your area would like to meet and discuss the negotiations and changes at MTS.

TEAM-IFPTE Local 161
204-984-9470 or 1-877-984-9470