Local 43 – Canadian Blood Service Bargaining Update

Following four days of negotiations, your bargaining committee has reached an impasse with your Employer and has filed for conciliation. We are sending this email as an update on negotiations and to outline the important next steps.

Negotiations were productive at times. However, your Employer continues to propose a number of clawbacks to important rights and benefits for members. The Employer has also failed to address key proposal identified by the membership.

The NSGEU will write the Department of Labour immediately and seek the assistance of a conciliation officer who will help the parties attempt to conclude a collective agreement. NSGEU will advise the membership as soon as we have dates for conciliation. It is expected to take several weeks.

So far, your bargaining committee has achieved several important improvements to your collective agreement that will have positive impacts on your work lives. These include changes to the scheduling policies and new shift premium rates to match rates at the IWK and NSHA.

However, your Employer has failed to address other key concerns related to scheduling, leaves, hours of work and job security.

And even more troubling is the fact your Employer is continuing to propose clawbacks in your medical, dental and LTD benefits. The Employer has also proposed negative changes to the Call Back / Call In and Paid Holidays articles. These are all significant take-aways from the benefits Local 43 achieved in past rounds of bargaining.

Your bargaining committee told CBS these were not changes we are willing to entertain. However, further discussions at the table did not move the employer away from their unreasonable proposals.

Now, the bargaining committee needs your support to help send a message to your employer as we prepare to go into conciliation. We need you to send the message that you will not allow CBS to take away hard-fought benefits from NSGEU members.

In the coming days, your bargaining committee will provide dates for local meetings which will take place in the coming weeks. Your bargaining committee and President Jason MacLean will be at these meetings to answer all questions.

It is very important that you attend those meetings. During those meetings, your committee will provide you with detailed information on bargaining and ask for your support in the form of a strike vote. Your bargaining committee will need this support in order to protect your existing rights and so they have a chance to make any further gains during the conciliation process.

It is important to note that CBS is subject to new provincial government essential services legislation. That means that CBS and the Union must come to agreement on the delivery of some services in the event of a strike. While we hope to avoid a strike, and one is not imminent, by law the parties must conclude an essential services agreement before the Union can take strike action.

The NSGEU, therefore, served notice on CBS to begin essential services negotiations within the next three weeks. Click here to view and download the notice.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of your bargaining committee members if you have questions before our Local meeting takes place.

Mary Otto, maryeotto@gmail.com

Carol Anne Jennings, caj_hfx@hotmail.com

Brandon Rose, Employee Relations Officer, brose@nsgeu.ca

Shawn Fuller, Director of Negotiations & Servicing, sfuller@nsgeu.ca

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