The bargaining team most recently met with the employer in Toronto in October as efforts continue towards negotiating a new Collective Agreement. There are another three days booked for December 18 to 20. If these meetings fail to make significant progress, the bargaining team will begin the process to seek a strike mandate from the membership. Your ongoing support will be crucial to the success of the team at the table on your behalf.
Addressing significant issues
We continue to address some significant issues ranging from everyday collective agreement concerns to Job Security and Compensation. In our last communication we mentioned that Job Security has never been more crucial for us. As CBS continues to evolve and change how clinics and other areas of the organization are managed, we must ensure that language in our Collective Agreement provides us with the stability, security and guarantees that you and your families require.
Implications of restructuring
As we have also communicated in the past, we know that CBS intends to restructure how the current Blood Clinics work. Although the employer has been vague thus far we are now aware that Health Canada removed the licensing conditions mandated as part of the Donor Care Model Pilot Project (DCA). The removal of these conditions will now allow CBS to expand this program nationally and this will have impacts on the way business is currently done. It has now become even more crucial that we ensure our working conditions are protected and that our job security is a top priority. Staffing levels, work assignment and scheduling could all be impacted. All of these concerns have solidified the bargaining team’s goal of enforcing your demand of greater job security and ensuring that all our members are looked after in this round of bargaining.
We will not go backward
The employer continues to have significant concessions on the table. The Union has rejected each and every one of these and will continue to do so. Severance and notice provisions, vacation scheduling, meal and break times continue to be issues in dispute, just to name a few. We will not go backward in this round of bargaining. The employer’s “Road Ahead” must include all our members and we will not agree to provisions that make it easy for them to lay off members or create hardships in family life because of scheduling etc. Your bargaining team has made it clear to the employer you are not interested in going backward. We are not interested in engaging in concessionary bargaining. We are more than prepared to be a part of the “Road Ahead” however we must have a say in how that road is travelled. In fact, we want to drive that bus!
The “Road Ahead”
The next three days will prove to be crucial to the direction that this round of bargaining takes. We have been at the table for over a year now and have had close to 20 days of face-to-face meetings. The time has come to make it happen. Although we have been making progress on a number of key areas, the bargaining team continues to work towards reaching a settlement that will benefit all our members. It is our goal to ensure that hours of work are guaranteed, that full time work is protected and that more opportunities arise for Part-Time employees. The direction you provided to us in the demand set process has not changed. As this employer expands and changes, Ontario workers must be a part of the “Road Ahead”.
Support your team!
The bargaining team remains committed to making gains in this round of bargaining. As we have said before, the support of the membership continues to be a factor in bargaining. Your support is the "ghost" at this table. Your support will allow the bargaining team to come out of this process with not only protection of our current working conditions but with additional gains as well, gains that provide each of our members with stability in their job and guarantees for the future.
As always, if you hear any rumours or have any questions please speak to one of your bargaining team members. Rumours and innuendo help no one. Only the bargaining team will have the facts!
Your Bargaining Team,
Leigh Anne Siebert
Please post and circulate!
Approved for distribution by Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President