No Progress in Conciliation
The bargaining team for the PTSU, PSAC local 60551, met with representatives of the University of New Brunswick in two days of conciliation on January 30th and 31st. The team is sorry to have to report that it made no progress during the two days of conciliation.
The union team began this conciliation session by addressing its hope that the parties continue to make progress and reach agreement on articles that were on the table during the last session and in anticipation of a four-day conciliation session to be held between February 18-21. To that end, the Union team tabled responses to UNB proposals on Pay Administration and Leave With or Without Pay for Union Business. We called attention to the fact that these counters were significant moves from our original positions, and that we were making these moves in an effort to move things forward. Unfortunately, the Employer’s responses, received on the second day of the session, indicated that they were not willing to make reasonable movement themselves in an effort to reach an agreement.
For its part, the UNB team began the conciliation session by tabling a response to a Union proposal on Overtime, along with a very slightly revised proposal on Other Leaves Without Pay. They did not table a counter to the Union proposal on Hours of Work from the last session.
The Employer’s counter on Overtime was particularly troubling for its potential impact on people in prorated positions, who could be forced to work well beyond their normal hours without any Overtime. When asked whether that was the Employer’s intent, the UNB team affirmed that it was. We indicated that the proposal was unacceptable.
While the PTSU team left this conciliation session frustrated on your behalf, we remain committed to tabling a complete monetary package at the beginning of the four-day session in February in an effort to reach an agreement. Clearly, if the Employer shows the same unwillingness to move during that session as they have in this one, the union will have to ramp up the pressure to inspire them to move. And that is where you come in!
The Union’s mobilization efforts are under way. We need to show the Employer that we want a fair contract, and that we won’t accept one with substandard working conditions that are below sector norms. And if we are going to convince the Employer to take us seriously, we need all members to be involved.
It’s time to send the Employer a strong message, and you are the key to that message. As always, you are our strength at the table.
Your PTSU Bargaining Team
Bruce Miller (PTSU President)
Catherine Paulin (VP Saint John)
Raphaëlle Valay-Nadeau (PSAC Regional Rep)
Silja Freitag (PSAC Researcher)
John Eustace (PSAC Negotiator)