Union threatened to break off talks
On Aug. 9 your team returned to the bargaining table. When we last reported on negotiations in July we indicated that we would wait for management’s phone call before we went back to negotiations. That phone call never arrived. As a result, on Aug. 10, with the assistance of the mediator, your team told management’s bargaining team that if they were not ready to meet with us and at a minimum discuss our demands, we would break off talks. Knowing that we were ready to walk away from the table, management belatedly agreed to speak to us about your demands. When we sat down with management last week their response to your demands was almost identical to what we heard from them on July 21. In other words, no substantive discussion or progress took place between the teams last week.
Team delivered clear message
Your team also delivered this message to management negotiators: “We’re disappointed with your response to our proposals.’ It’s taken your bargaining team considerable effort to remain at the table, knowing that so little has been forthcoming from management.
We remain prepared to walk away from the table at any moment. We know we have a responsibility to the members and a responsibility to the process to bargain a collective agreement. We take that responsibility seriously. However, we will continue to tell our membership that not only should they prepare for a strike, but, in fact, to expect one. Your team has not taken this position lightly. We are there at the bargaining table to deliver on a collective agreement that meets your demands. You told us job security, benefits, and wages were your main priorities. You told us, thanks to a 77 per cent strike mandate that you are prepared to back your demands and to dump management’s expectations that we will accept their concessions and takeaways
- Previously scheduled meeting dates for Aug. 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 and 31 may proceed as scheduled. Ideally, this is what we would like to see happen so that we may arrive at a negotiated settlement.
- Management may choose to force you to vote on an offer that was not negotiated with your team. If you vote to accept it, negotiations are finished and there will be no more talks on any more issues.
- Your team may choose to break off talks altogether. If so, negotiations will be over until management is prepared to bargain your demands and reach a negotiated settlement.
The team’s mandate is to deliver a negotiated settlement for you. We take this responsibility very seriously and we will take every step necessary to achieve this goal. If an offer is brought forward for you to vote on and it wasn’t brought back by the team then everyone must understand that your team did not believe that it was the best offer for you. It will be up to your local presidents, your stewards and the membership to turn down a forced offer.
Will there be a settlement by Aug. 31?
We believe that we can achieve a settlement in August and not jeopardize the start of the school year. However, judging by management’s deliberate and demonstrated stalling tactics we cannot say for certain that we will reach a negotiated settlement by Aug. 31
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.