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LockTalk 17: Conciliation gives way to mediation/arbitration

As you are aware from LockTalk 16, your bargaining team exchanged monetary demands with the employer on April 20, 2018.

Click here to download LockTalk, Issue 17

All monetary proposals from the employer were contingent on cuts to other benefits. In other words, there was no new money for the correctional bargaining unit without concessions to benefits.

As we proceeded with monetary negotiations, the employer advised us that they did not have the authority to bargain beyond Thursday, May 3, 2018, due to the pending provincial election.

Aware of these time constraints, we were prepared to work as long as it took to reach an agreement and offered to negotiate evenings and weekends. However, the employer gave a lukewarm response to our offer.

We put forward 17 separate monetary packages to the employer that were consistent with our demands and took into consideration our comparators, as used by arbitrator Burkett in a previous arbitration award. However, there was no appetite from the employer to engage in meaningful bargaining.

Accordingly, we filed for conciliation on May 2, 2018.

On May 3, 2018, we met with the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour. The employer indicated they were unwilling to move on any monetary items. This created an impasse, meaning we will enter into mediation/arbitration.

As of the posting of this LockTalk, we have no timeline on mediation/arbitration hearing dates, nor do we know who the arbitrator will be. As we prepare our submission for arbitration, we will be working closely with labour lawyer Nini Jones.

In contrast to what we’ve heard from the employer over the last five months, it’s clear that the services we provide day in, day out, are neither valued nor respected.

Just as we are confident that our position is fair and justified, we are equally confident that the employer has no interest in settling this matter at the bargaining table.

When mediation/arbitration dates are set and more information becomes available, we’ll update you accordingly.

This LockTalk follows an earlier email sent to institutional/facilities/community local presidents and adult/youth RERC chairs, alerting them of these important developments.