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Local 88 – St. FX Information and Voting Sessions Scheduled

On Friday, February 15th, Local 88 members were advised that talks broke off late on February 14th and that the Local 88 Bargaining Committee is recommending members reject the Employer’s last offer. The information session and voting is as follows:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

St. Ninian Place, Room 021

12 pm to 1 pm–Information Session & Voting

1 pm to 2 pm–Information Session & Voting

2 pm to 5:45 pm–Voting continues

Attached are the Employer’s February 14th offer, the Agreed articles up to February 14th and the Union’s proposed salary scales.

Why is the Bargaining Committee recommending rejection of the Employer’s Offer?

The Bargaining Committee could not recommend the Employer’s offer because it does not include salary scales with step increments. The NSGEU bargaining survey listed “a fair and equitable salary scale” as a number one priority for this round of bargaining. Furthermore, at every local meeting where a bargaining update was provided, members reiterated the importance of receiving salary scales with step increments.

If members accept the Employer’s offer, the Employer’s salary bands will become part of the agreement. Even though the only relevant part of the Employer’s salary bands is the “min”, the “min”, “mid” and “max” could be used as future step increments. Members should be concerned about these salary bands forming part of the agreement. The majority of members would not benefit from the Employer’s salary bands becoming future step increments. The Union’s proposed salary scales and steps will benefit more members. Come to the information sessions to find out why.

There are other reasons why the Employer’s salary bands are not acceptable to the Union. Please attend one of the sessions on February 20th for further information.

How do members get placed on the Proposed Employer’s Salary Bands?

The Employer’s salary bands include a “min,” “mid” and “max.” The only number that has any relevancy is the “min.” Any members whose hourly rate is below the “min” will be brought up to the “min” or receive 1.75 percent increase, whichever is greater. These are not salary scales with step increments, so members, other than those below the “min,” do not get placed on these bands.

As reported previously to members, the Union and Employer agreed on eight groups of point ranges. The Employer has provided a table showing their Bands (i.e., groups of point ranges) and the job titles that are included in the bands or groups. You can contact the Employer’s HR department or any member of the Local 88 Bargaining Committee or NSGEU’s Labour Resource Centre to verify which “band” or “group” you are in.

What did the Union propose as salary scales?

The Union proposed four-step salary scale is attached. The Union developed Step 1 for each of the eight groups using a method that ensures a logical link between salary and point range groups. Steps are created in each year of the three-year agreement with Step 1 being for new hires. All employees are placed on step 2 and progress through the steps on July 1st of each year. Employees would receive at least 2, 2.5 and 3 throughout the three-year agreement.

How do members get placed on the Union’s Proposed Salary Scales?

Members are not voting on the Union’s Proposed Salary Bands. The following is provided for information purposes.

To interpret the Employer’s and the Union’s scales, the point range called “Group 1” on the Union’s document is the same as the Employer’s “Band 1,” etc…

What is the Employer’s Wage Offer?

The Employer’s wage offer is 1.5%, 1.75% and 2% over a three-year agreement commencing July 1, 2012. All members receive at least these increases. Members who are below the “min” of the Employer’s salary bands will receive 1.75% or more (see next question).

The Employer also proposed a $275 lump sum payment and has presented this as being “an incremental 0.79% increase for the average employee.” Please don’t be fooled by the language being used. A lump sum payment is a one-time payment and is not included on your salary and therefore not subject to compounding from percentage wage increases. The Union prefers that all economic adjustments be on employee’s salary scales so its benefit continues into the future.

The Union’s last offer was 2%, 2.5% and 3%; the same as NSGEU’s lead table.

What is wrong with the Employer’s salary bands?

The Employer has not offered salary ranges that include step increments. They offer a Memorandum of Understanding (see attached) that proposes a sub-committee of Labour Management discuss step increments to recommend to the Union and Employer. The MOU states: “the compensation value of the steps will be negotiated as part of the next collective bargaining process.”

The current collective agreement included a promise that “the results of the job evaluation project, including new salary grades will be negotiated for implementation as part of the next collective bargaining process.” The Union believes a promise was made to negotiate salary scales in this round of bargaining, and the Employer says they cannot afford to do so. We are not confident that salary scales with steps will be negotiated in the next round of bargaining either.

Find your job title on the Employer’s document or contact any member of your Bargaining Committee or the Labour Resource Centre at 1-877-556-7438 to find your “group number.” Once you know your “group number,” you can compare your current hourly rate to step 2 (effective July 1, 2012) of the Union’s salary scales. Step 1 is reserved for employees hired after a new collective agreement is in place.

The Union’s proposal is that you will receive 2% increase or move to Step 2, whichever is greater. Simply calculate a 2% increase on your current hourly rate. If your new rate is below step 2 of your group, you will move up to the hourly rate for your group. If your new rate is above Step 2 for your group, you will receive the 2%. This method is used in each of the three years, and was adopted by the Employer in their last offer.

We encourage members to attend one of the sessions. We will provide further explanation and examples at these sessions.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of your Bargaining Committee or the NSGEU Labour Resource Centre at 424-4063 or e-mail us at inquiry@nsgeu.ca.

Bargaining Committee

Karen Hamelin

khamelin@stfx.ca

 

Brenda McKenna

bmckenna@stfx.ca

 

Sheldon MacDonald

smacdona@stfx.ca

 

Tina Webber

Chief Negotiator- 424-4063

twebber@nsgeu.ca

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