Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee has worked through the summer to negotiate changes to the Collective Agreement but we aren’t there yet.
When we last provided an update at a Unit meeting in July we advised that all non-monetary issues had been settled. The Employer had told us that they were not in a position to offer a wage increase so their offer was zero. They had given us that offer in the spring and the membership rejected it overwhelmingly.
As discussed at the Unit meeting in July we crafted a proposal for the Employer that combined devising a new schedule and using banking overtime as a way to reduce the Employer’s wage cost and provide for an improvement to working conditions if the form of better access to time off.
Initially the discussions went well and there was progress toward an agreement. Because of that your committee did a great deal of work analyzing the scheduling problems that have cause excessive wage cost for the Employer and proposing ways we could work together to address them.
Unfortunately, as we approached the fall and continued to exchange proposals the Employer began to back off some of their earlier commitments. You Union determined that there was no point continuing to negotiate when there was less on the table each time we talked so we have written to the Minister of Labour to ask for conciliation to try and resolve our bargaining impasse.
We have told the Employer there are two choices: work with us to resolve the cost and working conditions problems or offer a fair general wage increase. It appears they want to choose neither. If we can’t resolve this final impasse we will have no choice but to come back to you, the members, and recommend that we consider job action. We’re scheduled to meet for conciliation on October 31st and on November 6th and 9th. Updates will be posted as soon as they are available.
If you have any questions regarding bargaining please direct them to your unit representatives or call the Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1-888-999-7348 ext. 2298 and ask that your question be relayed to the appropriate person or contact us through the SEIU-West website.
Your bargaining committee and Union thank you for your patience in this negotiation. It has been a long and frustrating round of bargaining already and it may continue for a while but we are hopeful that conciliation will be successful and bring the Employer around to offer something that is fair and reasonable.
Your Elmwood Group Home Bargaining Team:
Jessica Eastveld, Ramona Logan, Roger Schmitz, Barb Landry SEIU-West Union Representative), and Cam McConnell (SEIU-West Northern Negotiations Officer)