Our current collective agreement will expire in August 31, 2012. Bargaining a new contract may seem like a distant event displaced by current concerns around marking, teaching, counseling students, providing library services, adjusting to new technology, and other issues familiar to faculty. However, preparations for negotiating the next collective agreement are underway. Our newly elected bargaining team is in place and the process of establishing demand priorities is rolling out across Ontario.
The CAAT-A bargaining team
Representing the priorities of the membership is a fundamental responsibility of the bargaining team and the team takes this to heart. Team members will be visiting each college over the next few months, responding to member questions, discussing the bargaining process, and providing support for each Local’s demand-setting. This revised approach – an outcome of recommendations from the last round of bargaining – strengthens the connection between members and the bargaining team. It helps build a better understanding of demands and collective agreement negotiations across the membership.
Establishing demands for bargaining is a three-step process. First is the pre-bargaining conference at which the bargaining team is elected. Local demand-setting is the second step of this process. Successful bargaining relies partly on having practical, realistic, and focused demands. The final step is the provincial demand-setting meeting at the end of March. After that meeting, the bargaining team puts the demands into contract language proposals. The priorities established at the provincial demand-setting meeting guide the team.
From March through May 2012, the team’s priority will be to build strong arguments, with appropriate documentation to support our position at the bargaining table.
There will be regular communication from the bargaining team exploring key themes, which arose from the pre-bargaining conference in October. Locals at the pre-bargaining conference identified more immediate communication as a priority. Anticipate the integration of new communication tools to provide members with timely information.
Team members will be visiting Locals to listen to concerns and answer questions. The team looks forward to seeing you in person in the near future.
Team members visit Locals to listen to concerns, answer questions, and assist with the demand-setting process
Mar 31 – Apr 1
Provincial Demand-Setting Meeting
Team meets to put demands into contract language, set bargaining agenda and strategy
June 3 is the earliest possible date to give notice to bargain.