LockTalk #19: Employer – why the wait?

As part of the final binding arbitration process, the due date for the exchange of arbitration briefs between the Employer and Union was this past Monday, October 2. We can confirm that the briefs were exchanged by the parties, as directed by Arbitrator Kaplan. Arbitration dates have been confirmed for November 25 and 26.

Your Bargaining Team is at a loss for why the Employer was unprepared to proceed with arbitration on July 25, as their proposals remain virtually unchanged. Their proposals continue to include attacks and concessions on your sick time, compensating time off, and the ability to use earned leave. They continue to attack fixed-term employees – who make up one third of our workforce – with significant rollbacks that would undo decades worth of negotiated improvements. They want significant concessions to our benefits package and have presented an embarrassing wage offer.

Our proposals remain driven by the bargaining priorities established by the membership during the demand-set process in early 2021. Recognizing that the financial landscape has significantly changed over two years, your Correctional Bargaining Team revamped the proposals earlier this year – after Bill 124 was struck down – to reflect the current pressures that record high inflation is having on everyone. Proposals at the table include wage increases that are in line with our comparators, and recent arbitration awards; pension improvements; meaningful increases to benefits; improvements to various types of leave, including compensating time off and the Probation Officers’ Allowance; and improvements for fixed-term employees.

Although we are not currently able to share the full briefs due to the constraints of the arbitration process, we remain committed to sharing full copies of the briefs after the process has concluded.

The next step is for the parties to exchange response briefs by November 3, 2023. Over the next few weeks, your Bargaining Team will continue working with our arbitration lawyers, Nini Jones and Lauren Pearce, to provide a fulsome response to the Employer’s antiquated proposals.

Thank you for your continued support in our workplaces as we navigate through the final steps of this bargaining cycle.

In solidarity,

Janet Laverty, Bargaining Team Chair

Adam Cygler, Bargaining Team Vice-Chair