Grand Fall: Union dissatisfied with slow negotiations

Local 886 of the Canadian Union of public employees (CUPE) representing municipal employees of the Town of Grand Falls is dissatisfied with the slowness of the negotiations with the employer.

The Union is frustrated by the employer that insists on attacking the principle of seniority, basic element in any collective agreement. Notably, the employer wishes to exclude new workers hired on temporary contract of the collective agreement.

“Our demands are very reasonable and represent the current situations in the workplace. “I don’t understand why the city won’t move ‘, says Aldéo Cyr, president of the local and certified Manager of the water treatment.

The city representative said the Union that he wants to address not only by seniority, but wants to have full freedom to lay off municipal employees and have a free use the outsourcing of services.

“We had much better relations with the city before, but now, they want to even talk of contracting out and attack to seniority. These attacks come out of nowhere,” says Aldéo Cyr.

In the face of intransigence on the part of the municipality, the Union made a request of an Ombudsman – an independent third party – in order to unblock the negotiating process.

“We hope to settle this summer – and I hope that the city will not coach until conciliation process”, said Gérald Leblanc, Union of CUPE representative.

Local 886 CUPE represents 18 employees to the town of Grand Falls and operates including recreation, roads, public works and water treatment areas.

ANBL Should Manage Recreational Cannabis

Fredericton – CUPE Local 963, the union representing NB Liquor workers, is encouraged by the conclusions of the interim report released this week by a working group on cannabis legalization. This government led report outlined the necessity for a public model for the legalization of recreational cannabis.

“I am encouraged, because the working group has recognized explicitly that ANBL and Local 963 workers have ‘extensive experience in retailing a controlled substance and has systems in place to support the retail environment for recreational cannabis’”, said Jaimie Agnew, President of CUPE Local 963.

As government is aiming for a completely public model, the government has, however, yet to guarantee it will go with ANBL rather than create a new Crown Corporation altogether.

“We hope they do this through our existing Crown Corporation. Our members have the skills, the professionalism to do the job right. Public control is really key to the success of any safety plan,” said Daniel Légère, president of CUPE NB.

“We will participate in the public consultations during the summer, and we will certainly repeat the message that ANBL is the least costly way to ensure safety, retail compliance and enforcement,” concluded Légère.

A Community Comes Together To Protect Seniority

A Community Comes Together to Protect Seniority

The municipal workers of CUPE Local 1188, operating in the small university town of Sackville, New Brunswick, are still in awe by the level of community support they received in their recent victory to protect seniority rights.

At the bargaining table, Council and the Town’s new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) had remained steadfast: they demanded the union accept a contract which removed seniority as a consideration when a temporary, part-time or casual employee applied for a full-time position.

“The last labour conflict our local had was about thirty-five years ago, in the 1980s. The Council and CAO must have thought we were weak, ready to accept anything,” said Marcos Salib, CUPE’s servicing representative for the Local. “They wanted to use fear of a lockout/strike situation and our feeling of isolation to their advantage,” he added.

The disconcerting attack had initially shocked and reduced morale amongst members – a few were contemplating signing a two-tier contract. However, the “Seniority Matters” campaign and member education grew internal confidence: members’ fear developed into anger, then indignation turned into resolve.

CUPE NB along with the Regional Action Committees engaged other CUPE locals in the area and gradually reached beyond immediate supporters. Firefighters, bakery workers, nurses, retail workers and other Regional Labour Council partners mobilized in Sackville. Ordinary citizens started to ask more and more questions to the Towns’ councilors as awareness and support grew.

Within six months, from December 2016 to May 2017, the Local had escalated pressure through all the hoops of a campaign: lobbying, leaflets, petitions, strike education, radio ads, lawn signs, public rallies, town hall meetings & more.

“Council thought they could drive a wedge between members as they sweetened the deal to exclude the current workers from the seniority attack,” said Pam Hicks, Secretary of Local 1188.

In the end, the Council withdrew its ultimatum and has ratified a six-year contract with the Union. The deal provides for improved clothing and tool allowances, contains wage increases, wage adjustments for precarious workers – and most importantly – maintains all seniority rights.

“Sackville workers leave us with a great example of how we can successfully apply CUPE’s National Executive Board Bargaining Policy on fighting concessions and two-tier contract provisions to motivate and mobilize the workers,” said Daniel Légère, CUPE NB President. “Because of the new bargaining policy, there now is heightened awareness of the need to bring in the Division early in the process,” he added.

“Local 1188 members understand that they are part of a big movement. Being part of a union comes with many benefits, but also many responsibilities towards our fellow workers – including future workers. Together we build on past victories and make gains for those who will come after us,” concluded Légère.

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Seniority matters! Fairness for Sackville municipal employees

Seniority allows for positions to be filled by the most senior worker qualified to obtain a position. It does not stop the Employer from choosing who they want as employees.

The town of Sackville wants to remove this longstanding clause to loyal part-time and temporary future employees hired by them.

Unions maintain fairness, equality and equal opportunity for all members after hiring!

CUPE NB Convention 2017

CUPE New Brunswick’s 54th  Annual Convention will be held at the Fredericton Inn, Fredericton, N.B. on April 19-22, 2017.

Wednesday, April 19
10:00 a.m. New Delegate workshop
10:00 a.m. Registration begins
1:00 p.m. Convention session
9:00 p.m. Social event

Thursday, April 20
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Convention session
9:00 p.m. Social event

Friday, April 21
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Convention session
9:00 p.m. Dance

Saturday, April 22
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Convention session

Representation

From local unions paying per capita on 100 members or less – two (2) delegates and one (1) additional delegate for each additional 100 members or portion thereof.

From District Councils or Provincial Councils of Unions, or Provincial Occupational Groups, the basis of representation shall be one (1) delegate per Provincial Council or group.  Representation from District Councils or Provincial Councils of Unions or Provincial Occupational Groups must hold.

Registration

You can register your delegates by mail, e-mail  or click here to register online. Register prior to March 20th, 2017 to help us in our planning and to allow sufficient materials to be prepared and sent to delegates in advance.

Fees

The registration fee is $100.00 for each delegate or alternate delegate attending. If registering by mail, enclose your cheque with the delegate registration forms. If registering by internet, please mail payment to Secretary-treasurer Minerva Porelle as registration fees must be paid at the time of registration. Please make cheques payable to “CUPE New Brunswick”.

Observer’s registration –  See information and form with links at the bottom of this page.

Resolutions and Constitutional Amendments

All resolutions to be considered at the convention must be submitted prior to January 19th, 2017 according to Constitution and By-Laws Article 4.7. All resolutions must be signed by the presiding officer and secretary of the affiliate. Emergency resolutions dealing with matters that have arisen less than ninety (90) days prior to the opening of the convention may be considered only with the consent of a two-thirds majority vote of the Convention,

Accommodations

A block of rooms has been reserved until March 22nd at the Fredericton Inn starting at a rate of $99.00. Please indicate that you are with CUPE NB (group CUPNB16M) when making reservations.

Phone: (506) 455-1430 or 1-800-561-8777
Fax: (506) 458-5448
On line: http://frederictoninn.nb.ca/

Convention Assistance

Local Unions having less than twenty-five (25) members may make application to the CUPE New Brunswick Executive Committee for financial assistance with transportation to assist in sending a delegate to convention. The CUPE New Brunswick Executive is empowered to authorize payment.

Mail registrations to:

CUPE NB Secretary Treasurer
Minerva Porelle
11 McKnight Road
Valley Road, NB E3L 4V4
E-mail: nbcnhu@xplornet.ca

Locals in Arrears

CUPE New Brunswick requirement: To be entitled to representation at the Convention, a local union shall have its per capita to CUPE NB paid up to and including the month of December, 2015.

CUPE National requirement: Article 6.7 of the CUPE National Constitution stipulates that any organization in arrears for two or more months to CUPE National will not be allowed representation to conventions at any level of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. This means locals must be paid to CUPE National up to and including the month of January, 2016.