Your committee met with the employer on April 26. During that meeting we were able to sign off on the final outstanding non-monetary items and began negotiations over monetary issues.
While the tone of bargaining was positive and cordial, we were unfortunately not able to find agreement on our monetary positions. The employer remains firm in its position of a three-year contract with 0% wage increases or monetary enhancements for the first two years and a wage reopener in the third year. We were not willing to accept this offer, and the employer is unwilling to negotiate anything different.
With that said, the employer has agreed in principle to extend the Health Spending Account in the future, and include it as an article within the collective agreement (as opposed to being a standalone Letter of Understanding with a defined expiration date as it is currently). We will also argue that the Health Spending Account should be allotted in full to members at the beginning of each year, as most other post-secondary institutions provide the fund, rather than as a monthly allotment as it provided to members at Norquest currently.
We were not able to sign off on this issue, however, as the employer maintains that the union must first agree to zero wage increases. Of course, we believe your work deserves to be fairly compensated and have not agreed to this offer from the employer. Given that each side if firm in its position, we have agreed to pause bargaining for a period of time to determine whether a political shift might allow the employer to move from their position towards something we see as being more fair.
Despite this, the employer, as a show of good faith, did sign off on a few articles, including some that are new to the collective agreement:
- New Article: Respect in the Workplace
- Article 10: General
- Article 32: Travel and Business Expenses
- New Letter of Understanding: Employee – Management Advisory Committee
- Letter of Understanding: Project – Student Employment
We remain committed to providing you timely information on the bargaining process and will share an update once further bargaining dates with the employer have been scheduled. In the meantime, please feel free to contact a member of your bargaining committee if you have any questions or comments about the process so far.
NORQUEST COLLEGE BARGAINING TEAM MEMBERS:
AUPE RESOURCE STAFF:Resources:
Terry Luhoway Negotiator firstname.lastname@example.org
Farris Sobhani Organizer email@example.com
Mariam Ibrahim Communications firstname.lastname@example.org