Issue #2, September 7, 2011
Since the walkout started six days ago, college management has been relentless in its view that it is was the union that walked away from the bargaining table and that the union refuses to return to the table and resume negotiations.
Wrong on both counts!
Let’s set the record straight. We made it very clear to our members, and the news media faithfully relayed our message to the public, that we are prepared to sit it at the bargaining table for as long as it might take to reach an agreement.
To quote from our Sept. 1 media release: “We tried to reach an accommodation with management negotiators, but it became very clear as we approached the strike deadline that they were not prepared to meet us on terms we could accept. We are prepared to return to negotiations at any time but management must
adopt a fresh approach.”
Our position at the strike deadline was straightforward and unambiguous: We will return to negotiations provided management is prepared to negotiate a fair deal.
What we heard at the table from management at the strike deadline was a far cry from the misinformation they’re peddling to the media today. At the table they told us: ‘This is the best we’re prepared to offer. Take it or leave it.’
We carefully studied their ‘takeit- or-leave-it’ proposal and your bargaining team could not accept a contract proposal that would have left our members in a weaker position than when we started negotiations on June 7.
We’ll say it one more time: We’re prepared to return to negotiations at any time, and at any location management chooses. The choice is theirs to make – sooner rather than later.