Bargaining Update # 3 – Local 54
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As you will know from the employer’s reaction to some of our bargaining updates, it is time for a neutral third party to get involved and help us move the bargaining process forward. This is a natural part of the bargaining process and can be initiated by either side. Consequently, we have applied for a process under the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA) known as conciliation.
Conciliation will be our next phase of bargaining. When a union and an employer cannot reach settlement at the table on their own, which is the case here, either party can ask that a conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour attend bargaining to try and help each side reach a settlement.
We are attempting to schedule our next bargaining dates with the conciliator recently appointed by the Ministry of Labour. Those dates are likely to fall near the end of April or early May. Given that we are entering this phase, there are other scenarios that we must consider, and prepare for, as a group.
At any point in the conciliation period the union or the employer can request what is called a “no-board report” if they believe that negotiations are at an impasse. Once the no-board has been requested it is usually filed by the Ministry of Labour within three-five business days. It will then be issued to the union and the employer. Seventeen days from the receipt of the no-board, both sides will be in a legal strike or lockout position. This does not mean that a strike or lockout automatically occurs after 17 days, it just means that either side has the option. No matter which side has requested the no-board, once the deadline has passed either side can declare a legal work stoppage.
Of course, we hope that it will not come to this, but we want to make sure everyone understands the process as we move forward. The bargaining committee still believes that we can reach a deal that works for both sides with the help of a conciliator, but we must prepare for the possibility of job action.
To that end, we are in the process of organizing strike prep training for local union members. Please watch for further communications of those dates when they are set. If you are interested in being on the strike committee and/or in attending the strike training, please email Recording Secretary Katie Carpe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A strike or lockout is not imminent, but the earlier we can prepare for the possibility, the better position we will be in to support our bargaining committee.
Your bargaining committee
Linda Merkac- Cupe National Rep