Your bargaining team met with the employer for the second time in the last two weeks. Good progress was made, and we’re pleased to report a number of non-monetary items were signed off, including:
- Respectful Workplace (will become Article 22)
- Employer Rights
- Grievance Procedure
- Paid Holidays (non-monetary provisions only)
- Health and Safety
Here are some of the improvements we agreed to:
Health and Safety
- The right to refuse dangerous work: If you have reasonable grounds to believe work poses a threat to you, your health or your safety (or that of a co-worker), you have the right to refuse it, and no discriminatory action can be taken against you for practicing your rights under the Occupational Safety Act, Regulations and Code.
- We signed off on clear definitions for bullying, sexual harassment and personal harassment as well as protections against each.
- New language defends us against the employer abusing their power through intimidation, coercion or threats.
- The employer suggested once bargaining is complete we look at jointly conducting “Respectful Workplace” training. Your bargaining team committed to looking into this.
Discipline and Discharge
- We now have a definition for culpable misconduct, which will protect us from being disciplined in situations where additional training would be more appropriate. This amendment puts a greater responsibility on the employer to ensure all staff know what’s expected of them and to give us the resources to fulfill these expectations.
- The employer will now have to give you and our union representative advance written notice of any meeting that may lead to disciplinary action. Discipline will be proportionate to the misconduct.
- Staff can also request that a discipline be removed from their file twelve months after the disciplinary action.
- We agreed to a disclosure clause that holds both the employer and our union representatives responsible for sharing all the information they know that would result in resolving the grievance.
Next Bargaining Dates
All of these improvements reflect the quality of protections we’ve deserved for years. The previous employer, Carillion, put stakeholders and profits above staff, and in the end the public paid.
As the frontlines of Alberta’s highway maintenance, we know what we need to do our work safely and effectively, and we know what we nee to help get Albertans from point A to point B safely and effectively. This is our priority, and we’re going to ensure it’s Emcon’s too.
Future bargaining dates have yet to be scheduled. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please reach out.