Local 88 – Additional Strike Vote Information

Further Information for Strike Vote

NSGEU notified members in December of strike vote information sessions and voting on January 10 and 11, 2013.  The dates and times 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 10, 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 Officer’s report is filed, a 14 day “cooling off” 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 hours’ 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 23 and 24, 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 88 members and a disruption to the university should the parties not reach a tentative agreement.

On the last day of bargaining, the Employer proposed 1%, 1% and 1.25%.   This falls short of the NSGEU lead table’s settlement of 2%, 2.5% and 3% over the same three year period.  As well, the Employer’s wage proposal includes the adjustments necessary for the implementation of the job evaluation project; therefore, many members will not even receive these increases!

During Conciliation we expect to receive a “final offer” from the Employer which may or may not result in a tentative agreement.  In either case, the Union will bring the Employer’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 Union’s “agreed” document included in this email.  The issues that are not resolved and will be negotiated at conciliation include wages, Job Evaluation (both the “project” and ongoing) hours of work, sick leave, holidays, vacations, 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 10th or 11th.

Your Bargaining Committee:

Tina Webber, Chief Negotiator

Karen Hamelin

Sheldon MacDonald

Brenda McKenna

Strike Vote Information & Voting Sessions

Thursday, January 10, 2013

St. Nanina’s Place, Room 021

12 pm to 1 pm – Information Session & Voting

1 pm to 2 pm – Information Session & Voting

2 pm to 4 pm – Voting Session

5 pm to 6 pm – – Information Session & Voting

6 pm to 7 pm – Voting Session

Friday, January 11, 2013

St. Nanina’s Place, Room 021

12 pm to 2 pm – Voting Session

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