Bargaining team calls for 100 per cent strike mandate!
On June 7th we were pumped and ready to start bargaining. We had done our homework.
We knew the timelines we faced. We had visited the colleges to prepare you for this round of bargaining. We presented management with a full and comprehensive exchange document including our monetary expectations.
We knew that we had to move fast and disclose our positions more swiftly than ever, thanks to changes to the Colleges’ Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA) which now imposes shortened timelines during the bargaining process.
In short, our preparations were in order.
On the same day we received an exchange document from management that contains no monetary position, and a whole lot of vague-sounding concessions that the colleges would like us to cough up. In our view it is an incomplete document that will take weeks to decipher.
We took to heart the shortened-timeline changes that are contained in the new CCBA and prepared ourselves accordingly. The colleges didn’t.
Brothers and sisters, we do not have the time nor the energy to allow management to proceed this way. The colleges called for changes to the CCBA; they got those changes, but they insist on insulting our intelligence by going forward with bargaining as if itwas business as usual and nothing had changed even though they reminded us of those changes at the bargaining table.
They believe they can distract our attention away from the negotiating table by, instead, having usfocus on the games they are playing inside our locals. Most of the colleges’ have denied our book offs for mobilizers. Some have denied our access to meeting rooms for member meetings related to bargaining. Others have denied local time off and dictated what local time off can be used for.
They have even tried to force local executives to declare what union business our members were undertaking during the requested local time.
This is the game the colleges have elected to play. They’re trying to make the rules for us as they go.
One problem: they’re neglecting to take YOU into consideration.
We have made a decision that best reflects our ability to get you the best possible contract we can. Management’s decision and actions show they have the opposite goal in mind.
Your team has taken the decision to ask you for a strike mandate. We’ve made this decision for a number of reasons.
First, because of the disrespect management has exhibited against our members prior to our Notice to Bargain on June 3rd and again on June 7th with their vague and ambiguous proposals.
We came to the table with specific demands, including a clear position on monetary issues. They replied with no meaningful proposals.
Second, we’ve taken the decision to call for a strike mandate because, otherwise, the tight legislative time lines do not give management any incentive whatsoever to engage in meaningful negotiations.
The team strongly recommends that you back your team with a strike mandate of 100 per cent.
We need to send a message to the Colleges that states unequivocally: respect us and take us seriously or face the consequences of your actions.
In the next little while we will be meeting with the Ministry of Labour to set up vote procedures and dates. We will try and influence the vote date as much as we can to get an earlier date rather than a later one. This will ensure that when we receive a strong strike mandate from you we will have plenty of time to do what management should have wanted to do………negotiate a fair contract.
Contact your team!
If you have any questions at all about bargaining, feel free to e-mail your team at any time. Our address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please post and circulate.
This publication is authorized for distribution by: Rod Bemister, Chair, CAAT-Support Bargaining Team and Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, OPSEU.