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Local 267 – NS Community College Q & A on Conciliation and Strike Vote

Why is it very important for members to attend their Local meetings (listed below) to receive a bargaining update and vote?

We would like to meet with you face-to-face in order to talk about how bargaining has proceeded so far and to discuss outstanding issues.

Also, we would like you to cast your ballot to strike in support of your Bargaining Committee to give them the strength they need as they head into the conciliation process. Members will be able to vote during the meeting.

 

What are the outstanding bargaining issues?

There are quite a few. But one of the most important issues is the internal job posting process by the Employer. Other issues include Operational Support Learning College Portfolio, job security, holidays, specifically student study break, and more.

 

Why should I vote in favour of a strike?

A vote in favour of strike, is a vote to support your Bargaining Committee as they enter into the conciliation process to try to get an agreement on the outstanding issues with the employer. Your vote gives them more strength and will send a message to your Employer at the bargaining table. Without the support of the membership, your Bargaining Committee has no power.

 

Does a strike vote mean we are going on strike?

At this point, this strike vote means you are ready to go on strike to support your Bargaining Committee going into conciliation but it does not mean you will physically be going on strike if talks break off.

 

If I can’t attend my Local meeting will I still be able to vote?

If you aren’t able to attend your Local meeting, you will still be able to vote in an electronic vote which will happen after all of the information sessions have been held. (see below for more information)

 

What about wages and our Retirement Allowance and Bill 148?

NSCC is covered under Bill 148 legislation. This legislation, passed by the McNeil Liberal government, limits the wage package the Employer can negotiate. Your agreement expired on March 31, 2015. The wage mandate going forward cannot exceed 0% in the first year, 0% in the second year, 1% in the third year and 1.5% in the fourth year with 0.5% on the last day of the fourth year. Note: It does not contain language that limits wages in any subsequent years. For example, the Interest Arbitration Board for the Civil Service awarded two additional years of 2% per year following the mandated four year wage pattern.

Bill 148 also forces Employers covered under the legislation to freeze the provision of your Retirement Allowance as of April 1, 2015 and to end it for any employee hired on or after April 1, 2015.

The union has a Charter challenge regarding Bill 148 as a whole and part of our argument will be that the government cannot reach into collective agreements and strip away freely negotiated benefits. The decision could be as many as five years away. If successful, we would argue for the reinstatement of the Retirement Allowance as of April 1st, 2015.

 

Retirement Allowance payouts

The Public Service Commission is allowing Civil Service employees an option to cash out their Retirement Allowance. We will be pushing for this same treatment for the members.

 

What is conciliation? 

Conciliation is a process whereby an impartial third party, a Conciliation Officer, is appointed by the Labour Board and assists the parties (the Union and Employer) in reaching mutually agreeable solutions to outstanding issues. The tentative agreement would need to be ratified by the membership and by the Employer before it becomes a collective agreement.

 

What happens if conciliation fails?

If conciliation fails, we would come back to the membership for another vote to determine if the Local will go on strike or accept the final offer. There would be a two week cooling off period before we could strike. In the meantime, we would remain open to talks with the Employer.

 

Link to Salary Information

At last night’s Telephone Town Hall, we said we would provide the membership with the link to NSCC management salaries published in accordance with the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act. You can find them here: https://www.novascotia.ca/finance/site-finance/media/finance/pscd2017/GRE-NSCC-PSCD-2017.pdf

 

How will I be able to vote electronically? 

The electronic vote will happen after all the Local meetings have been held.

We require a valid email address in order to send you the electronic voting information – a personal email address is preferred. Voting information will be sent to you via email near the beginning of March. Once you have your voting information, you will be able to vote by phone or on-line during the prescribed voting period.

If you aren’t sure we have an accurate personal email address for you, please contact the NSGEU as soon as possible.

Where are the Local meetings? 

See below for your Local meeting. NSGEU President Jason MacLean and EROs Paul Cormier and Rick Wiseman, along with members from your Bargaining Committee, will be in attendance and available to answer any questions.

 

Local Region Date Time Location
267M CB February 05, 2018 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. NSGEU Sydney Office
267D CB February 06, 2018 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Maritime Inn, Port Hawkesbury
267I, 267W, 267Z Metro February 08, 2018 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. NSGEU Dartmouth Office
267B, 267E SS February 12, 2018 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. NSGEU Yarmouth Office
267A, 267K Valley February 13, 2018 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Berwick Apple Dome
267L SS February 15, 2018 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Best Western Plus, Bridgewater
267F, 267N PAG & CC March 05, 2018 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. NSGEU Truro Office
267C CC March 06, 2018 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Amherst Super 8

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