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Bloodletters: CBS Support Bargaining Newsletter October 2014: Tentative agreement reached!

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Bloodletters Support Bargaining 2013 – October 2014

Tentative agreement reached!

The Bargaining Team would like to thank all of our members for your patience as we prepared the ratification schedule and information for you. Many of you have already heard that a tentative agreement was reached with Canadian Blood Services. The parties had two days scheduled, September 22 and 23, and bargained early into the morning on both of those dates. Both sides agreed to stay and bargain on September 24, and were able to reach a tentative agreement late that evening.

During the last round of bargaining, it took the parties over twenty face-to-face dates over more than a year to reach a tentative agreement: It was described as “not an easy round of bargaining”. This was an even more difficult round of bargaining for the Team, and included eleven face to face meetings over eight months to reach an agreement.

Concessions the Employer was seeking

As has been mentioned in previous Bloodletters, the Employer tabled some major concessions and the team was faced with making some difficult decisions.

The Employer made it clear that Canadian Blood Services wanted to change the way it does its business and was looking to tighten its belt through efficiencies monetarily and of the workforce.  

  1. The Employer tabled the removal of Article 12.03 – Days Off. The Employer wanted to get rid of the premiums that employees receive on weekends and, more importantly, the ability to schedule Full Time Employees seven days a week with two consecutive days off during that week.

The Team was able to negotiate language that guarantees four days off in a bi-weekly period at least two of which shall be consecutive and at least once every four week period such days shall be a Saturday and a Sunday.

The Employer indicated that the cost issue was specific to the Labs and if the Union did not agree to this there would be a significant number of layoffs.

The Employer stated that for the last four years collection targets have been decreasing and as a result the number of clinics, clinic hours and number of beds have been reduced.

Despite the Team’s efforts to find solutions and other alternatives the Employer made it clear that the layoffs in both Donor and Clinic Services were unavoidable. The Team had concerns that this could have a domino effect on all of the other support departments and no move on the language would have resulted in a significant number of layoffs that would have decimated the bargaining unit.

Other concessions the Employer was seeking:
 

  1. Article 6 – Job Security/Lay-off: The Employer tabled language changes to the severance payments entitlements.

6.05 (c)     Employee’s hired after the date of ratification will receive two (2) weeks of severance pay, equal to two (2) weeks of regular earnings, per year of service to a maximum of fifty-two weeks.

6.06           The provision of Article 6.06 apply only to employees hired after [date of ratification]

a)       The employer shall provide employees with three (3) calendar months’ notice of layoff.

The Team felt it was important to maintain the current language for current employees (grandfathered employees) working at Canadian Blood Services because it became abundantly clear that there were unavoidable layoffs and the need to protect existing severance language was extremely important. The Union was successful in maintaining the existing severance pay language currently in the Collective Agreement under Article 6.04 for current employees. The new language will only apply to new hires.   

  1. Articles 25.02 and 25.03 – Transportation: The Employer tabled the removal of this article which would have meant that anyone working beyond 10:30 p.m. would not be eligible or reimbursed for taxis.

The Union held firm on this and was able to keep the existing Collective Agreement language.

  1. Leave Provisions For Full Time Employees – Letter of Understanding

The Employer poposed removing the language that ensures all leaves are only 7.5 hours, instead, the employer wants all leaves to be reduced by the actual hours scheduled.

The Union held firm on this and was able to keep the existing Collective Agreement language.

  1. Article 12.01 Meal Periods – The Employer proposed changes to the meal periods by adding unpaid hours to your meal periods.

The Union was able to keep the existing Collective Agreement language with some improvements on some of the meal periods.

Collective Agreement improvements and highlights of the deal:

  • Four year deal April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2017
     
  • .7 % wage increase April 1 2013
  • .7 % wage increase April 1 2014
  • .7 % wage increase April 1 2015
  • .7 % wage increase April 1 2016
     
  • .7 % lump sum payment for all hours worked between April 1 2013 and March 31, 2014
  • .7 % lump sum payment for all hours worked between April 1 2014 and March 31, 2015
  • .7 % lump sum payment for all hours worked between April 1 2015 and March 31, 2016
  • .7 % lump sum payment for all hours worked between April 1 2016 and March 31, 2017
     
  • Article 12. 03 – Weekend Premium improved from $1.75 to $2.00
  • Article 12.12 – Evening Premium improved from $1.10 to $1.20
  • Article 13 Vacations with Pay – Improvement to Vacation Accrual (reach next level earlier) for both Full-time and Part-time employees
  • Added an additional week (7 weeks) of vacation after 28 years
  • Article 12.04 F.T.E
  • Benefits threshold for F.T.E employees reduced from 18.75 hours weekly to 15 hours (.4 F.T.E) weekly

Vote Yes

The Bargaining Team is recommending you vote in favour of the tentative agreement. We look forward to meeting with you and answering any questions you may have at the ratification meetings that have been scheduled.

In solidarity,

Your Bargaining Team:

Local 477 – Wendy Lapointe (Chair)

Local 160 – Katherine Zan-Payne

Local 200 – Keith Davies

Local 210 – Leigh Anne Siebert

Local 5103 – Audrey Smith            

Staff Negotiator: Anastasios Zafiriadis