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Negotiations Update - Other Non-Monetary Proposals

To:          TEAM-IFPTE Local 161 Members
From:      TEAM Office
Date:       April 28, 2016
Re:          Negotiations Update - Other Non-Monetary Proposals

Further to the review of our career development proposals, this memo covers TEAM’s proposals relating to other non-monetary matters being discussed at the negotiating table.

Job Descriptions

Many respondents to TEAM’s negotiation surveys expressed frustration at being assigned responsibilities from other positions, often higher rated positions, resulting in undefined roles, out of date job descriptions, and a lack of clarity on the primary accountabilities.

TEAM positions are evaluated, graded and paid based on the job description, and many job descriptions may no longer accurately reflect the work members do.

TEAM is proposing:

  • TEAM members have current and accurate job descriptions.
  • Job descriptions be reviewed by the member with their manager every three years to ensure they are up to date.

Working from Home

MTS has no working from home policy.  Members frequently question why some employees can work at home while others cannot.  Suggested benefits include increased productivity and flexibility to work around issues at home while still being effective.  However, a number of factors need to be considered, e.g. does the home become the workplace, and if so, what is the employer’s responsibility regarding health and safety, managing hours worked, and ensuring client information is adequately safeguarded.

TEAM is proposing:

  •  A joint committee be established to investigate and make recommendations on members working remotely, including working from home.


Not every member will need the services of the union to ensure their continued employment, but like house insurance, it is good to have should the worst happen.  TEAM has been successful in getting members back into the workplace and/or attaining financial compensation for impacted individuals.

A member could find themselves without income for a number of reasons, including the employer believes they did something wrong, they resigned under duress, or were laid off.  TEAM has demonstrated that sometimes a suspension, termination or layoff was inappropriate, or a resignation was the result of an issue that should have been addressed.  We want to reduce the instances and time a member is without an income.

Layoff and Recall

In the most recent downsizing, MTS made a significant number of redeployments using lateral moves, promotions via acting appointment (most of which have now been posted), and demotions while retaining the pay level (in almost all cases).  Feedback from members has been mixed.  Our proposals address concerns raised by members, giving them a voice in a potential redeployment, salary protection, and increased opportunity to return to the workplace if laid off.

TEAM is proposing:

  • When a member who would otherwise be laid off has the skills and ability to perform the duties of an equal or lower rated vacant position, with the member’s agreement, they will be assigned to the vacant position and maintain their current rate of pay.
  • When a laid off member on the recall list has the skills and ability to perform the duties of an equal or lower rated vacant or newly created position, with the member’s agreement, they will be assigned to the position.  The member will have the right to refuse assignment to a lower rated position without forfeiting their right to continue on recall.
  • If more than one member is qualified for the vacant position, the members will be interviewed to determine who fills the vacancy.

Investigative Interviews

MTS employs former law enforcement officers in its Corporate Security department who use police interrogation techniques when conducting investigative interviews. Their interviews are recorded and videoed.

Several members have reported attending an investigative interview believing they are assisting in an investigation, only to find out mid-way through that they are actually the individual being investigated.  Although members are told immediately prior to the interview that what they say in the interview remains confidential, this is untrue should the investigation relate to a criminal matter, or if the case proceeds to arbitration.  It is therefore important that a member who is the subject of an investigative interview have an opportunity to seek representation from TEAM before the interview commences.

TEAM is proposing:

  • The TEAM member will be advised prior to an investigative interview if they are the subject of the investigation, the nature of the allegation(s), and that they have a right to have Union representation at the interview.
  • TEAM will be advised in advance of interviews of TEAM members conducted by Corporate Security to ensure a TEAM representative is available to attend the interview should the member request union representation.

Arbitrations when Member is Without Pay

Under the current process, when the legitimacy of a suspension without pay, termination, or layoff is disputed, it can take anywhere from 7 to 12 months before the matter is heard before an arbitration panel, and an additional 2 to 6 months for the panel to provide its decision.

TEAM believes that disputes should be resolved quickly.

TEAM is proposing:

  • When a member is terminated or suspended without pay, an expedited arbitration process will be followed, utilizing a single arbitrator from an agreed list, with the matter being heard within a 90-day timeframe.


Vacations - Members receiving Remoteness Allowance only

This proposal is to remove certain restrictions on the usage of additional vacation days provided in Articles 22.04.1 and 22.04.2.

Joint Benefits Committee

This proposal is to capture in the Collective Agreement the past practice of having up to two TEAM representatives on the Joint Benefits Committee.

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