Bargaining Begins: Employer Proposes Rollbacks

On March 1 and 2, your bargaining committee met with the employer and tabled our union’s ingoing proposals, including wage increases, other monetary gains and support for more respectful and equal relationships in the workplace. What we were met with was disappointing.

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.

Jan Busch
Shari Chatters
Amber Noel

Chris Dickson Negotiator
Celia Shea Communications
780-720-8122 or Michelle Szalynski Organizer
403-634-8262 or