The bargaining team continues to meet with our employer in an attempt to reach a new Collective Agreement. The parties met in Toronto over the last few months with our last meeting being held in June. We are not scheduled to meet again until October.
Standing up for job security
As we mentioned in our previous updates there are a number of significant issues that need to be addressed in this round of bargaining. As we have been bargaining, we have discovered that this employer continues to make plans with little regard to the Collective Agreement or the Union. We are well aware of the recent situation in Thunder Bay where our colleagues were quickly and quietly shut down. We are also aware of the looming issues facing our colleagues working at the Sudbury Call Centre. Despite the union’s request for meetings and impact reports (regarding a new Call Centre) we were told that there will be no impact only to find out when the announcement was made that there may be significant impact on staffing levels in that location. Job security has never been more crucial for us.
Looking after all our members
We also know that CBS intends to restructure how the current Blood Clinics work. Once again, the employer has been vague on what they intend to do. However, discussions at the bargaining table have led us to believe that there may be significant changes to staffing, responsibilities and schedules. 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 cannot look the other way!
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!
Some significant progress
Notwithstanding the above, we’ve made some significant progress in some 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. We want new work that CBS takes on to be a part of our work (i.e., Blood Cord etc.). We want to ensure that Ontario is considered when new programs and opportunities arise – not simply brushed aside.
Bargaining begins again in October
When we last met with the CBS we drafted a comprehensive response to the employer’s proposals and our outstanding demands. We presented this to the employer and we are now waiting for them to respond. When we begin bargaining again in October, we fully expect the employer to respond on all outstanding items. Their response will determine our next steps.
It’s time to get this done!
We have been at the table now for just over a year. We have met over 15 times during that year. It’s time to get this done! If the bargaining team is not satisfied with the employer’s response when we next meet, we will then be turning to you for an endorsement and strike vote. We will obviously provide more information at that time and when necessary.
Your team depends on your support
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