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LockTalk #15: Déjà-vu – Employer shows up unprepared

On July 10, 2023, the Correctional Bargaining Team met with the employer at their request to engage in a further mediation session with Mediator/Arbitrator Bill Kaplan. Despite making this request, the employer came to the table with ZERO proposals. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

As a result, mediation talks broke down almost immediately.

On top of that, the employer advised Kaplan that they had no mandate and would not be prepared to proceed to arbitration on July 25. To say that the bargaining team is incredibly angry and frustrated would be an understatement. This also left your team with an extremely difficult decision to make regarding July 25 – faced with the reality of only presenting the union’s brief.

In consultation with our arbitration lawyer, we weighed the pros and cons of proceeding on July 25 or pushing off this arbitration date to be able to proceed with arbitration in the typical manner where both sides present their case on an equal playing field. The team decided the best course of action was to proceed in the typical manner.

To that end, new back-to-back arbitration dates have been scheduled for November 25-26, 2023 – which were the first available dates.

To be absolutely clear – your bargaining team is prepared to arbitrate NOW!

This was not an easy decision to make and your team needed assurances that the employer would be prepared in November. Kaplan issued direction to the parties to have their arbitration briefs prepared and exchanged by October 2, 2023 and response briefs by November 3, 2023.

Your team is frustrated. We know you will be frustrated too as you read this update. We continue to show up at the table ready to engage in bargaining, yet the employer continues to disrespect our Correctional Bargaining Unit by failing to engage in anything remotely resembling bargaining. The few times the employer has shown up to the table with proposals they have been significant concessions for our bargaining unit. The team has been firm that we will not accept concessions. We remain committed to working toward the best outcome in this difficult round of bargaining.

The Correctional Bargaining Team appreciates the continued support of bargaining unit members through this challenging round of bargaining.

In solidarity,

Janet Laverty, Bargaining Team Chair
Adam Cygler, Bargaining Team Vice-Chair