REPORT OF THE BARGAINING COMMITTEE
Denis Lalancette Item 11(l)
STRIKE AND RATIFICATION VOTE POLICY
The Standing Bargaining Committee met on October 26 and 27, 2002, to work
out a policy on strike and ratification votes. The policy is based on the first
whereas of Resolution 39, adopted by the Executive Council in March. The members
present were Denis Brunette, John Kosiba, Nick Stein (Co-chair), Mike Lefebvre
(Administrative Assistant) and myself, Denis Lalancette (Chair).
In producing this draft, the members referred to PSAC bylaw 15, as amended,
available only in one official language at the time of the meeting. Members
sought to answer the following questions:
- Who pays?
- Where can I hold these votes?
- Who can vote?
- When should I hold a vote?
- Do I have to hold an information session before the vote?
- Who can give an information session?
- When do I have to forward the results, and to whom?
- Who is responsible for making the arrangements?
- Is advanced voting allowed?
- Is proxy voting allowed?
- Can a member vote in a local other than his or her own?
- Are we bound to accommodate the varied work schedules of members?
Members also examined and took note of the resolutions passed and rejected
at the UTE congress.
In compliance with the 1st whereas of Resolution 39, members approved the
attached draft policy. As required by the 2nd whereas, the draft was submitted
for review to the members of the National Bargaining Committee. All members
feel that union representatives must support the recommendations of members
of the PSAC/CCRA National Bargaining Committee.
Members also discussed other issues at the meeting, and these are on the agenda
attached to this report. Apart from items 1, 2 and 3 of the agenda, which relate
to the draft policy, following are the results of the team’s deliberations.
INFONEX CONFERENCE (Agenda item 4)
The author of this report had attended an Infonex conference on interest-based
bargaining as co-leader with Claude Tremblay, Director General, Staff Relations
at CCRA, and shared the information Mr Tremblay had provided on slides. The
slides showed clearly what role the union should play, and the importance of
union involvement if an organization like the CCRA was to be able to achieve
its objectives. Since Mr Tremblay was also responsible for bargaining, the
Committee chair felt that the slides he had produced were important.
PROPOSED **NEGOQUIZZ** CONTEST (Agenda item 5)
The Committee chair presented members with a draft proposal for a contest
to be held in 2003. The current collective agreement expires on October 31
of that year, and we must prepare members for every eventuality possible during
a bargaining period.
We wished to draw members’ attention to the fact that we would shortly
be embarking on a new process, and to try to get them interested and involved
in the bargaining process by having them engage in a little research. To induce
members to direct their questions to members of their local executive, bring
local executives and members closer together, conduct a communications exercise
reaching all levels of the union: from national to local and vice versa.
Naturally, a contest was not the sole means of achieving these objectives,
but as we had to start somewhere in arousing our members, a well publicized
contest seemed to be a good tool.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?
All members of UTE, and members of local executives. Members of the Executive
Council and their relatives are not eligible.
In early December or January, the Standing Bargaining Committee will be sending
out holiday greetings, and will include a special invitation to enter the Negoquizz
in 2003, our bargaining year. The contest should also be announced on the UTE
Committee members will officially kick off the contest at the Presidents’ Conference.
After the reading and explanation of the policy on ratification and strike
votes, the rules for the contest will be explained.
After the conference, another news release announcing the contest will be
sent to all locals for distribution or posting on their bulletin board, accessible
to all members; the same notice will be posted on the Web site.
In the week before the contest, another release will be sent explaining the
contest and announcing the prizes to be won (if possible). The same information
will appear on the Web site.
Prizes should be presented by local presidents, in the presence of a national
officer if possible. A photograph should be taken of each presentation (if
possible), and the photographs should be posted on local bulletin boards and
on the UTE Web site.
Each member of this committee will prepare four questions, for a total of
20. The answers for the questions will be multiple-choice, and will relate
to the collective agreement or the bargaining process. Committee members will
work out a marking scale to decide the winners.
There will be a time limit for answering the questions (about a month). There
will be: one grand prize winner picked from entrants with the same score in
each region (10 regions, 10 grand prizes); five second prize winners in each
region (10 regions, 50 second prizes); five third prize winners in each region
(10 regions, 50 third prizes); all prizes will be UTE items. The contest judges
will be the members of this committee (unless otherwise announced).
A special section will be created for members of local executives wishing
to take part in the contest. Since they have access to privileged information,
they must not be in a conflict of interest with ordinary members. For them,
therefore, there will be one grand prize winner, five second prize winners
and five third prize winners for all 10 regions.
First, the contest will be publicized in news releases, on the Web site and
at the Presidents’ Conference. Contest instructions and the questionnaire
(hard copy) will be mailed to locals on or about March XX, 2003; they will
also be downloadable from the UTE Web site. The contest will close on or about
April XX, 2003. Participants can obtain contest documents from members of their
local executive, to whom they should return completed entries. Local executives
are to forward the entries to the national office (preferably in a single mailing),
marked “Attention: Mr XXXXXXXX”, no later than May XX (a maximum
of 10 days from the contest closing date, not subject to appeal), 2003.
A week after the closing dates, the answers will be available in hard copy
and on the Web site. Within three weeks of the closing dates, the winners’ names
will be announced in a memo and posted on the Web site. Prizes should be presented
by local presidents, if possible in the presence of a national officer.
THE THINKING BEHIND THE CONTEST
Members agree to try a contest because there is a need to make a start soon
on a bargaining awareness campaign. The contest dates match key dates in the
various stages of the bargaining process, such as the invitation to members
to submit contract demands.
It is hard to find activities that offer a guarantee of success, but as the
saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”, and “Actions speak
louder than words.”
DRAW TO ACCOMPANY THE CALL FOR CONTRACT DEMANDS
As a way of keeping interest alive, the committee will be holding a draw for
all members who respond to the invitation to submit contract demands. The winner
will receive an assortment of UTE products (jacket, sweater, cap, document
case and pencils). A random draw will be held at a meeting of the National
Bargaining Committee, and the names of all members who have submitted contract
demands will be entered. The winner’s name will be announced in the week
following the meeting at which the National Bargaining Committee endorses the
demands. A photograph should be taken and posted on the Web site, and a news
release should go out to all members.
OPEN DISCUSSION: EXPECTATIONS FOR THE BARGAINING PROCESS (Agenda item 6)
Committee members engaged in an open discussion on their expectations and
viewpoints on the upcoming bargaining process.
Following are the highlights:
- The PSAC notice to prepare the contract demands book will have to be
issued very early in 2003 (January or February), given problems encountered
in the past, and in particular to ensure we meet strategic deadlines.
- However, if the demands are not ready, the committee wants the UTE to
go ahead without waiting any longer for them with UTE contracts demands book.
- The call for contract demands should be issued on or around May.
- The UTE National Bargaining Committee should meet in June to select and
prioritize the demands.
- The names of bargaining team members should be known following that meeting.
- The meeting with CEUDA members should also be held as soon as possible
after the June meeting.
- The notice to bargain should be sent on August 1, three months before
the current collective agreement expires.
- Intensive bargaining sessions should be held beginning in August, with
a view to getting a contract signed before the current one expires. However,
this objective should not outweigh members’ expectations.
- Following these intensive sessions (the initial bargaining), if national
bargaining team members see fit, a strike vote could be requested in support
of the bargaining process.
- A request for conciliation should also be made, it team members so decide.
Although it may seem early in the process, Standing Bargaining Committee
members think the request should be made, as they feel that the Staff Relations
Board must change its views regarding protracted negotiations and adapt to
a new negotiating philosophy.
- The CCRA bargaining team should be given a genuine mandate.
- People with responsibility should be appointed to the team.
- An official meeting of UTE, CEUDA and PSAC representatives should be
scheduled to discuss all these points, and to prepare for a union-management
meeting with the CCRA.
- If the designation process does not move forward, the UTE Executive Council
should act to ensure this does not unduly delay the bargaining.
- If, after all these efforts, there is no agreement, then a strike should
be considered for the next program in 2003.
Foregoing are some of the committee members’ thoughts.
For: Members of the committee
1) RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PSAC/CCRA NATIONAL BARGAINING TEAM
Whereas recommendations of members of the PSAC/CCRA bargaining team should
be supported by elected members at all levels of the UTE;
Be it resolved that the UTE Executive Committee opt for inclusion in the UTE
constitution and bylaws of a provision requiring UTE elected leaders at all
levels to support recommendations of members of the PSAC/CCRA national bargaining
Be it lastly resolved that this request be submitted also to the PSAC. UTE
Executive Committee members shall decide how best to submit this request.
Whereas we must try a variety of strategies and activities in order to arouse
UTE members’ interest in their bargaining process.
Whereas we must make communication instinctive, both from the national level
to the local level and vice versa, and continue to develop a variety of communication
Whereas we must get members of locals to develop the solidarity we need among
Be it resolved that the Executive Council authorize a NEGOQUIZZ contest related
to the bargaining process, as submitted (or amended) in the bargaining report.
Be it further resolved that the contest be under the responsibility of the
members of the Standing Bargaining Committee, as submitted (or amended) in
the bargaining report.
Be it further resolved that the contest be held between March XX, 2003 and
April XX, 2003.
Be it lastly resolved that the awarding of UTE products to a maximum value
of $9,000 be authorized as prizes for the winners.
3) CONTEST TO ACCOMPANY THE CALL FOR CONTRACT DEMANDS
Whereas we must encourage members to respond to the call for contract demands;
Whereas this is a key element of the bargaining process;
Be it resolved that the UTE Executive Committee authorize a contest that will
identify a UTE member who has responded to the call for contract demands.
Be it further resolved that this draw be held at a meeting of the National
Be it further resolved that the following UTE products be awarded as a prize
to this member: a jacket (black fleece), a cap, a sweater, a document case
and a pencil.
Be it lastly resolved that this contest be suitably publicized (a photograph
on the Web site and in a news release, and whatever else is considered necessary).
4) UNION-MANAGEMENT BARGAINING MEETING
Whereas the members of the UTE Executive Committee and of the Standing Bargaining
Committee have expectations with respect to the bargaining process that has
been developing since the Agency was established;
Whereas these expectations should be discussed between the PSAC, the CEUDA,
the CCRA and the UTE;
Be it resolved that a special union-management meeting be scheduled between
the PSAC (UTE, CUEDA) and the CCRA to discuss the bargaining. The meeting should
be perceived as preparatory to the bargaining process.
Be it further resolved that the items to be discussed at this meeting are
(subject to change):
- Date of the notice to bargain (90 days before expiry of the current agreement)
- Objectives of the bargaining process: desire to secure an agreement before
the current agreement expires. Desire [sentence incomplete - Tr]
- Dates for bargaining sessions. Give the negotiators a genuine mandate
to bargain. Appoint people that represent the CCRA. Schedule dates for bargaining
and for the exchange of negotiating positions. Any other subject considered
necessary by the UTE Executive Committee.
Be it further resolved that a meeting between the PSAC, the CEUDA and the
UTE precede the special union-management meeting, to enable the union side
to prepare for it.
Be it lastly resolved that the UTE be represented at these meetings by the
President, the Vice-President responsible for bargaining, and the Regional
Vice-President and Co-chair of the Standing Bargaining Committee.
Chairperson of the Committee
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