Message from the President: Bargaining Update
After thirty-two meetings over a period extending from the beginning of March until August 4, 2016, bargaining has finally wrapped up and we have signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Burnaby and the Burnaby Public Library Board.
The members of your bargaining committee are proud of the fact that we were able to fully discuss every single proposal which we tabled with the employer back on March 7. This was a departure from the usual practice in bargaining where most proposals seem to disappear from the bargaining table almost as soon as they are tendered. Full credit has to go to the bargaining committee for standing firm in its determination to achieve this goal.
There were some heated moments during negotiations as is to be expected when important matters are up for discussion but, overall, the talks were productive and respectful. Though the employer did not agree with many of the points which we raised and had their own views on issues, they now have a much greater understanding of the concerns which you have to deal with on a daily basis. This can only benefit us all moving forward.
Did we get everything we wanted? No, we didn’t. That is the nature of collective bargaining. Your bargaining committee got what it feels is the best we could achieve, making some gains without giving away hard fought benefits. The employer’s agenda was to gain relief on rising benefit costs and we were able to hold the line while protecting what we had.
We have much work to do moving forward to future rounds of collective bargaining. We have put some building blocks in place which will allow us to build successfully on the issues which are fundamentally important to us such as seniority rights and access to work.
We were able to gain seventy-six conversions of Auxiliary, Temporary Full-Time and Regular Part-Time employees into Regular Full-time and Regular Part-time jobs. That is a previously unheard of number of conversions but it is still short of what we had hoped to achieve and we have many members deserving of permanent employment who we still have to work to secure proper status for.
In all, your bargaining committee is satisfied with the outcome and we are recommending that you accept the new agreement. We will be holding two information meetings on this Memorandum of Agreement: Wednesday, August 17, at 5:30pm and Saturday, August 20, at 10:00am, both at the Union office. Our ratification vote will be held on Wednesday, August 24, from 8am through 8pm.
You can view the Memorandum of Agreement for the City of Burnaby by clicking here.
You can view Appendix 2 by clicking here.
You can view Appendix 3 by clicking here.
You can view the Memorandum of Agreement for the Library Board by clicking here.