I want to provide a brief update on bargaining.
To date the bargaining committee has met with the Employers on May 16, 17, 18, and July 6. We have had individual employer bargaining meetings on June 2, 14, 28 and 29 as well as July 7 and 11. Our CUPE National Rep and I have had 2 recent meetings with the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association (GVLRA) on September 27 and October 12.
We have been able to achieve movement on certain proposals and come to agreements, however we have reached an impasse on wages and term.
At our meeting this past week with the GVLRA, we came prepared to discuss the remaining core outstanding issues – wages and term. We felt confident that with some cooperation we could conclude negotiations with a fair and reasonable agreement. We were surprised by the GVLRA’s unreasonableness in discussions around wages and terms and frustrated by their representative’s decision to end negotiations, declare that an impasse had been reached and suggest the parties file for mediation.
We believe that with additional bargaining dates we could conclude negotiations. We are now waiting for mediation dates from the Labour Relations Board and once we have confirmed dates, we will let members know.
Currently, we are working on planning our next steps. We continue to coordinate with other CUPE Locals in the region, and we are strongly considering taking a strike vote in advance of mediation.
With six separate units in our local, we are required to conduct six separate strike votes. This is logistically complex and will take several weeks. While we are hopeful that we can resolve bargaining without needing to take strike action, we want to be prepared should it become clear at mediation, or before, that the GVLRA is not willing to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract.
We are committed to keeping all members informed of what is happening with bargaining – so please make sure we have your personal email address, so you receive these important updates. Either visit our website www.cupe374.ca and subscribe or speak with your unit VP.
If you have any questions, please contact your Unit VP or call our office at 250 472 0374. Thank you for your support.