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AUPE has applied for First Contract Arbitration

We have applied for first contract arbitration for workers at the Brenda Stafford Foundation’s Wentworth Manor because the employer has made it clear that they have no intention of negotiating in good faith.

Since January 2018, when AUPE first applied to be certified as the bargaining agent for workers employed by the Brenda Strafford Foundation at the Wentworth Manor facility, the employer has used every possible tool in the toolbox to prevent you from achieving your first collective agreement.

Twenty-one months later, they are still at it and, now, they’re taking steps to lock out workers.

Last December, AUPE applied for First Contract Arbitration because the employer refused to offer any indication they were prepared to bargain reasonably. At the same time, Bargaining in Bad Faith and Unfair Labour Practice complaints were filed with the Alberta Labour Relations Board (LRB).

A LRB resolution conference led to an agreement for informal mediation. As a sign of good faith, AUPE agreed to adjourn the First Contract Arbitration Application and the Bargaining in Bad Faith and Unfair Labour Practice complaints.AUPE met with the informal mediator on March 21 and 28, as scheduled, but the employer did not show up on March 28. Instead, they tabled their first monetary proposal (verbally) through the mediator:

2017- 0%
2018- 0%
2019- wage reopener

The employer was not available on many dates throughout April, May and June when AUPE and the informal mediator were available. A meeting that was scheduled for May 21 ended up with the employer cancelling, so AUPE hosted a rally to demonstrate our frustration with the employers’ continued delays. We finally met on June 27.

At 9:30 a.m. that morning, AUPE again tabled a complete written counter proposal, including response to the employer’s positions from March. We did not hear back from the employer until 4:00 p.m. that day. They wasted the day and made it clear they did not want to negotiate. At that point, AUPE proposed, in writing, a joint agreement to transition to enhanced mediation with mediator recommendations to be delivered by October 1st. The employer refused.

We met again on August 6 and exchanged complete written proposals. AUPE proposed, again, a transition to enhanced mediation. On August 9, the employer – again – refused. An August 19 bulletin to staff made it clear they are preparing for a lockout.

As a result of all of the this, AUPE has applied on your behalf for a First Contract Arbitration date. The LRB will hold a hearing to allow us to state our case. That date has not yet been set.

The employer is using this time to distribute false information on the worksite.

We are organizing a Bargaining Update and Solidarity Potluck for September 27th, the date that was set aside for mediation. Please join us and members of your bargaining committee any time from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Westgate Community Association, 4943 8 Ave SW, Calgary.

We’ll talk about our negotiations and next steps and demonstrate to the employer that we are united in our demand for a fair first collective agreement.

Now, more than ever, it is important to support your bargaining team and show your employer that you are 100% behind them.While the employer does everything it can to divide and conquer, it is vital that we stand together.

Stay tuned for further details about September 27th and we’ll let you know as soon as we know when the LRB hearing will take place.