CBS Support Bargaining Team Report
On behalf of the Support Bargaining team we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank you for your patience while we prepared the ratification schedule and information for you.
We were pleased to announce just prior to the holidays that we had reached a tentative agreement with Canadian Blood Services. This was a long haul for all of us. During the course of just over a year the parties met face to face over twenty times. This was not an easy round of bargaining.
At the outset, you set some major priorities for this round of bargaining through the demand set process. Job Security, protection of full-time positions, more opportunities for our part time members and full-time members as well as guarantees of work and no concessions were at the top of the list for members. We are pleased to announce that we have been able to achieve steps forward in each of these areas.
In the face of the demands that we put forward, the employer came to the table with significant concessions to our collective agreement. The employer wanted to attack and negatively change the hours of work provisions currently in the collective agreement. They wanted to butcher the existing severance and notice provisions of the collective agreement. They wanted to change how meal and break times were taken and affect when you could have days off. The employer wasn’t just satisfied with stopping there. In addition to the demands they had, mentioned above, Canadian Blood Services was looking for concessions on your premium provisions and wanted changes and adjustment to how vacations were scheduled. Despite all of these demands placed on the table by the employer, the bargaining teams stood strong, backed by a very supportive membership and are please to advise you that the tentative agreement reached contains absolutely no concessions for any current employees. We were successful in fighting off everything the employer was looking to change. The solidarity of this membership played a huge role in making that happen.
In addition to fighting off the attacks to the collective agreement, we also made some significant gains.
We will be presenting a two-year collective agreement. In times of austerity (right or wrong), we are pleased to announce that we have negotiated wage increases in each year of the collective agreement.
Upon ratification members will receive a 2% wage increase in each year of the collective agreement. These increases will be retroactive to April 1, 2011. In essence, members will see an immediate 4% wage increase upon ratification. Where most employers are offering zero’s we see this as a significant accomplishment.
The number one issue coming out of the demand set process was that of Job Security and greater guarantees for our part time members who make up the majority of our membership. We all know how often Canadian Blood Services changes how clinics are run and looks at restructuring our workplaces. Often these changes result in a reduction of full-time work, layoffs or cutbacks in part-time hours. We believe that we have achieved a major accomplishment by negotiating for our part time members a minimum guarantee of hours each week.
Reading the agreement
If this deal is ratified, part-time members will be assigned a minimum full-time equivalent (FTE) number of hours guaranteed. We will provide greater details on this significant change and achievement at the ratification meetings with a full presentation, however, in essence this means that members working as Clerks, Lab Assistants, Drivers, Driver II, Shipper Receiver, Logistics Attendant, Phlebotomist, Clinical Assistants and Donor Service Representatives will be guaranteed a .5 FTE or .3 FTE per week. In short, you can never fall below this guarantee of hours. Under the current Collective Agreement, there is no guarantee of hours whatsoever. This gain is a significant accomplishment that not only provides greater guarantees for part-time members but also offers greater protection for full-time positions. In addition, members will no longer have to worry about possibly falling below the threshold of required hours for benefits.
We know that the employer is looking to make what could be some significant changes to how clinics are run. With the new guarantee of hours for our part-time employees this provides even greater job security if and when those changes approach.
In addition to this, in order to deal with any significant workplace changes and also to allow us to better deal with ongoing concerns from the new facility in Brampton, we have negotiated a Provincial Labour Management Table. This table will work in addition to the local Labour Management tables. The union will be represented on this committee with one member from each of the five locals covered by the Collective Agreement.
Another significant achievement in this tentative deal is the provision of greater job security through the job posting process. Currently members can only apply for jobs within their respective locals or workplaces. Article 16 has now been amended to allow for all employees employed at any centre covered by the support agreement to apply for vacancies at other centres. This has significantly opened the door to greater movement for our members via the job posting procedure.
We made some improvements to the meal allowances. All Drivers will now be guaranteed a claim for both lunch and dinner when working specific hours between 8 pm and 11:59 pm and 12:00 am and 2:59 am. Although the employer was paying in some instances, they were not paying in all and we have now fixed that issue.
We have also agreed on new wage rates for the Driver II classification. Effective upon ratification, in addition to the general wage increase, members in the Driver II position will receive a $2.50 per hour across the board increase, which will be retroactive.
Under the terms of the tentative agreement Local 200 will also now have a position/member on the bargaining team for all future negotiations and the Brampton facility is fully recognized under the new agreement.
As mentioned above the bargaining team managed to get the employer to back away from all of their concessionary demands. This in and of itself is a significant achievement as employers look to find cost savings at the expense of their employees.
These are just some of the major highlights of the tentative agreement. The bargaining team is recommending you vote in favour of this tentative agreement and we look forward to meeting with and answering any questions you may have at the ratification meeting. A full copy of the Memorandum of Settlement (MOS) will be provided to you prior to your ratification date.
IS, The Bargaining Team