Members of Local 54,
As you are aware, we have been meeting with the employer to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Today was the ninth-time meeting, doing our very best to negotiate an agreement that is fair for both parties. This has and remains our goal. Unfortunately, today, the Union was left with no other choice but to file for conciliation. This decision was not taken lightly or made in haste. We feel as though the employer has left us no other choice.
From the very beginning the Union has been committed to listening to our members, bringing forth the issues you told us were most important, all the while making sure we were being fair and respectful to the employer and the process. We do not feel as though the employer is showing the union or the process the same respect.
The union has made considerable movement from our original position, we do not feel as the employer is making similar movement. They are refusing to allow us to further our position on items that are of no financial cost to the employer, as well they have completely removed proposals that we were very close on, stating they will deal with it in another way, specifically quoting corporate policies.
At one point the employer would not even sit with us to deliver their latest proposals, they just handed it through the door and said it would be self explanatory. This is frustrating to say the least, which is why we made the decision to file for conciliation.
What the employer is offering is not in line with what other municipalities in the area have successfully negotiated. Still, they do not seem to be looking at what our priorities are with respect.
We will continue to keep you updated and will see the process through with the same resolve we started with. With the support of our members behind us we will be successful.
Local 54 Negotiating Team