Further Information for Strike Votes
NSGEU notified members in December of strike vote information sessions and voting on January 8 and 9, 2013. They are included again at the end of this update. The following is to provide additional information in preparation for the information meetings which begin on January 8, 2013. President Joan Jessome, your bargaining committee and chief negotiator will be present at the sessions to explain the process and answer questions. We encourage you to bring your questions to the information sessions and to cast your ballot for the strike vote.
What is Conciliation?
Conciliation is an option available under the Trade Union Act when regular negotiations fail to bring an agreement. Either party may write a letter to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education requesting the services of a Conciliation Officer to assist the parties in reaching an Agreement. The Conciliation Officer does not have the power to impose any settlement on either party, but acts more like a mediator and puts pressure on both sides to reach an agreement.
Either a tentative agreement will be reached during conciliation, or an impasse will occur. If the Union and Employer reach a tentative agreement, members will be asked to vote by secret ballot in favour of the tentative agreement. The vote on a tentative agreement is called a ratification vote and is determined to be successful if at least 50% plus 1 of the members who voted vote in favour of the agreement.
If an impasse is declared and the Conciliation Officerâ€™s report is filed, a 14 day â€œcooling offâ€ period begins. It also means that after the 14 calendar days, the Union can call a legal strike of the members (provided it has a legal strike vote), and the Employer can legally lock employees out of the workplace. Either side needs to provide 48 hoursâ€™ notice to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education of their intention. The expiry date for either party to call a strike or lockout is 6 months from the end of the 14 day period. Under the Trade Union Act for a legal strike vote, the Union needs to have at least 50% plus 1 of the employees affected by a strike to vote in favour of authorizing the Union to conduct a strike.
Why is NSGEU taking a Strike Vote?
The Union and Employer are scheduled for conciliation on January 17 and 18, 2013. We believe it is essential to obtain a strong strike mandate in order to reach a tentative agreement with the Employer. Having a strong strike vote will show the Employer that members stand behind their bargaining committee and are willing to go on strike to meet their bargaining demands. The Employer will feel the pressure of potential strike by Local 81 members and a disruption to the university should the parties not reach a tentative agreement.
On the last day of bargaining, the Employer would not budge from 1%, 1.25% and 1.25%. This falls short of the NSGEU lead tableâ€™s settlement of 2%, 2.5% and 3% over the same three year period. As well, the Employerâ€™s message is they are only willing to remove their proposal to shorten the summer hour period by 4 weeks, if we accept their poor wage offer.
During Conciliation we expect to receive a â€œfinal offerâ€ from the Employer which may or may not result in a tentative agreement. In either case, the Union will bring the Employerâ€™s final offer or tentative agreement, whichever applies, back to the members for a vote.
What are the resolved and unresolved issues?
A number of articles have been agreed subject to, of course, reaching a tentative agreement. You will find the Unionâ€™s â€œagreedâ€ document included in this email. The issues that are not resolved and will be negotiated at conciliation include wages, hours of work, overtime, holidays, vacations, personal leave, contracting out, and duration of agreement. Attached is a table outlining the major outstanding provisions and their status.
We strongly encourage you to attend any one of the information sessions and to cast your strike ballot. We look forward to seeing you on January 8th or 9th.
Your Bargaining Committee:
Tina Webber, Chief Negotiator
Strike Vote Information & Voting Sessions
Tuesday, January 8th
12 pm to 1 pm – Strike Information Session & Voting
1 pm to 4 pm – Voting
Vinnieâ€™s Pub, Rosaria Centre
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm – Strike Information Session & Voting
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Voting
Room 401, Rosaria Centre
Wednesday, January 9th
1 pm to 2 pm – Strike Information Session & Voting
2 pm to 3:30 pm – Voting
Vinnieâ€™s Pub, Rosaria Centre