On top of zero-per cent wage increases over three years, the employer’s proposal included a series of rollbacks, not limited to: Removing the flex spending account; pushing forward the start time for our premium shift differential; removing important Letters of Understanding (LOUs) (contracting out, paid personal leave and the mutual agreement to adjust regular hour of work); and changing our benefits to a shared plan from a 100-per cent, employer-paid plan.
As you know, we fought hard to achieve these items. For the employer to attack our fundamental protections not only undermines years of asserting our worth, but also detracts from more progressive gains.
While we’re happy to see Chantelle Management agree to gender-neutral language in the contract, this is a change happening at many of our union’s bargaining tables and should not come at the cost of other protections.
We also value steps they’re taking to deal with bullying in the workplace, and holding people accountable; all workers should be able to do their jobs without fear of emotional, psychological or physical mistreatment.
Nevertheless, we will continue to push for stronger language in our contract dealing with work relationships and respect, so we have the full rights to form a harassment-free workplace.
This has been a difficult start to bargaining. You should not have to battle rollbacks just to defend a position from which you’ve been trying to progress. Nevertheless, use these first meetings as a reminder of how much we’ve achieved in the recent past and as a cue that our rights are something we must constantly protect.
As we did manage to sign off on ten articles with current language and one LOU addressing parking, we hope that moving forward the employer starts to become more cooperative on other crucial items.
If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact one of your bargaining team members.
EDITH CAVELL BARGAINING TEAM MEMBERS:
Jan Busch firstname.lastname@example.org
Shari Chatters email@example.com
Amber Noel firstname.lastname@example.org
AUPE RESOURCE STAFF
Chris Dickson Negotiator
Celia Shea Communications
780-720-8122 or email@example.com Michelle Szalynski Organizer
403-634-8262 or firstname.lastname@example.org