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The employer is seeking significant rollbacks at Monterey Place, while important changes introduced by Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces act, have substantially changed the context for bargaining at both Millrise and Monterey Place. All members are encouraged to learn more from this update and also by coming to the following meet and greet events: Fri. July 14, 11 am – 2 pm (Monterey Stampede BBQ); Mon. Aug. 14, 4 pm – 6 pm (Milrise Place BBQ); and Tues. Aug. 15, 4 pm – 6 pm (Monterey Place BBQ).

MONTEREY PLACE

AUPE served notice to bargain to your employer on Jan. 4, 2017 and the parties exchanged proposals on May 18. The employer is proposing to rollback or delete a significant number of articles of the existing collective agreement, which was ratified after a 284-day long lockout in 2012. Bargaining will resume on Sept. 19, 20, 27 and 28.

Employer Proposed Rollbacks

  • No more union meetings on employer premises
  • No right to wear union apparel or buttons during working hours
  • Regular part-time employees will not have first preference for available hours
  • Job postings will not include shift schedule information
  • Increase posting process from 3 days to 5 days
  • Delete filling vacancies temporarily with qualified staff or with appropriate training
  • Increase trial period from 2 weeks to 4 weeks
  • Increase probationary period from 3 months to 9 months
  • Delete distribution of overtime based on seniority
  • Delete paid rest period options by mutual agreement with employee
  • Delete shift rotations not changed or revised without mutual agreement with the union
  • Delete first shift of the day between 2300 and 0715 language
  • Delete employer considering employee request to work permanent days/evenings/nights shifts
  • Reduce posted shift schedules from 12 weeks to 6 weeks
  • Seniority not practical for short notice absence shift replacement
  • Reduce off-duty between shifts from 15 ½ hours to 12 hours
  • Employer proposing split shifting
  • Tiered formula for prescription drug reimbursement 80%/50%/20%
  • Delete Flexible Spending Account
  • No paid sick leave for pick up shifts or traded shifts
  • Delete sick leave satisfactory proof at employer request after 2 days or more
  • Reduce parental and maternity leave from 72 week total to 37 weeks
  • Delete bereavement leave of 1 day for close friend or distant relative
  • Delete employer ensuring employee participation on OHS committee or inspections, hazard identification and control including working alone
  • Delete Professional Responsibility committee addressing resident care and staffing issues

Bill 17, The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act

The Bill makes moderate changes to bring Alberta’s Employment Standards and Labour Relations Codes more in line with the rest of Canada and alleviate some of the heavy imbalance of power and rights that has long existed in favour of employers.

The two most significant changes that will directly impact bargaining at Millrise and Monterey (as well as many other AUPE members) are: 1) introducing first contract arbitration, and 2) extending the requirement to negotiate essential services agreements (ESAs) before proceeding to mediation or strike/lockout to bargaining for private continuing care, home care services and lab or blood services.

First Contract Arbitration

First contracts at newly unionized sites such as Millrise Place are notoriously difficult for both parties and typically leave unions in a vulnerable position since the employer previously had no incentive to bargain in good faith and achieve a contract. In fact, all of AUPE’s legal strikes or lockouts in the past decade have arisen while fighting for a first contract.

Alberta will now allow for binding arbitration (a third party arbitrator who has the authority to impose a settlement) in cases where a first collective agreement cannot be reached through negotiations. Binding arbitration is not a magic pill, but this will encourage employers to bargain better in first contract scenarios and help reduce the kind of work stoppages and labour strife we’ve seen in our newly certified units across the province.

Essential Services Agreement

Bill 17 extends the requirement to have in place an essential services agreement, currently in existence for public sector bargaining units, to all private sector long-term care, continuing care, supportive living bargaining units like Millrise and Monterey Place, home care bargaining units as well as lab and blood services. This means that parties cannot proceed to mediation, strike or lockout until an essential service agreement is in place.

An advantage of the essential service provisions in the Labour Code is that employers are prohibited from using replacement workers. Without the ability to rely on scabs during a strike or lockout, the balance of power between employer and union in a stoppage is less heavily tipped toward the employer.

For more information about these and other changes under Bill 17, please visit www.aupe.org/news/changes-to-the-labour-relations-code/

MILLRISE PLACE

Mediation was scheduled for May 25 and 26, however nothing occurred on May 25 because of the implications of Bill 17, which had been introduced in the legislature the day before.

On May 26, the employer spokesperson was extremely agitated and anxious about postponing mediation (for personal reasons). AUPE tabled a proposal by email so the employer spokesperson could return to Edmonton and attend to his personal matter. We have not heard back from the employer spokesperson.

Mediation has been delayed until October 2017 because the employer spokesperson does not have any other dates available in the interim period (July, August and September).

Because a mediator was already appointed for Millrise Place before Bill 17 was introduced, we can proceed with mediation without an Essential Services Agreement in place (see above).

Union Representation

It is important to remember that you work in a unionized workplace and that you are legally entitled to union representation, regardless of whether or not you have a contract in place. If you have any questions, any concerns or require representation, advice, counsel or advocacy, please do not hesitate to call your AUPE Membership Services Officer (MSO) at 1-800- 232-7284.

You are protected by the Labour Relations Code! You are entitled to union representation when requested. So when the employer requests to meet with you and you feel that you require union representation, make that request before the meeting begins or during the meeting if you feel you require union representation.

We can provide assistance and representation on employment and labour relations matters, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) matters, Workers’ Compensation (WCB) matters.

Moving Forward

Renewal of your collective agreement at Monterey Place and negotiation of a first collective agreement at Millrise both require care and attention, and sometimes that means taking more time. We appreciate and thank you for your patience and perseverance.

Never forget that it is our solidarity and standing together that will defeat any attempt by the employer to undermine your bargaining agency. This solidarity will only happen because of you, so it is critical that you support your bargaining committee!

Solidarity also means that if the employer pushes us to the wall, our AUPE brothers and sisters (90,000 members across Alberta) will be beside you and behind us, every step of the way.

Member mobilization is also key to our success. Member mobilization is about engaging each member and energizing your workplace, one member at a time.

Please join us for at the following meet and greet events for refreshments, food and socialization. Please bring your questions, comments and your appetites.

Friday, July 14
Monterey Stampede BBQ
11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Monday, August 14
Millrise Place BBQ
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Tuesday, August 15
Monterey Place BBQ
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

We want to hear from you! Please contact any member of your bargaining committee with any suggestions, ideas or comments.

Your bargaining committee is:

Monterey Place
Tammy Holcomb 403- 474- 7260 or tammy1969holcomb@gmail.com
Carol Haller 403- 568- 4994 or caroljhh@gmail.com
Alternates
Gurmeet Mann
Balvinder K Gill

Millrise Place
Lourdes Rosales 403-383-2827 or br.lourdes23@yahoo.com
Yvette Labuson 403-470-5343, 403-441-6765 or mabethlapastora@yahoo.ca

AUPE Staff

John Wevers, Negotiator
780-238-4767 or j.wevers@aupe.org
Michelle Szalynski, Organizer
403-634-8262 or m.szalynski@aupe.org

Resources:
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