This article appeared in the winter 2017 issue of the Union Stand.
The short answer: ideas are passed on to your elected Bargaining Committee and made into official Proposals through your Bargaining Input Surveys.
Here’s a bit more information on exactly how that process plays out:
All NSGEU members work under the protection of a collective agreement, which is negotiated with their employer.
Collective Agreements are usually three or four years in length and establish working conditions, including wages, hours of work, benefits, overtime, and safety and health for members.
The terms of the contract are negotiated between:
A NSGEU Bargaining Committee – made up of union members who’ve been elected by fellow members to speak on their behalf, along with a professional union negotiator; and
Management representatives of the employer.
The bargaining process begins at Local meetings where NSGEU members elect their negotiating representatives.
Those elected to the Committee are responsible for organizing a series of bargaining prep meetings where new ideas and proposals are heard. Your elected Committee is also responsible for creating your Bargaining Input Survey to collect and prioritize new bargaining proposals. These surveys are typically distributed electronically or via mail months before your committee meets with your employer, as your Committee members develop their bargaining proposals based on the feedback they receive from members through this survey.
Your Bargaining Input Survey is the primary opportunity for every member to offer their opinion on what they’d like to see in their new contract, or suggest improvements to what currently exists. For that reason, it is very important that you take the time to complete your bargaining survey: have your voice heard!