Public Sector Bargaining Update 5

November 10, 2016

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Dear NAPE Local Officer and/or Shop Steward,

This is our fifth in a series of updates regarding public sector bargaining.

We should start with a backgrounder on timelines.

NAPE was served notice to bargain on February 29 of this year. At that time, we sent the government and respective employers (Hereafter: Employer) a listing of our Bargaining Teams and assigned staff negotiators (Hereafter: Negotiators). We did not hear back until September 2 when the government informed us of their assigned negotiators in writing – spanning a period of nearly six months. Around that time, the government issued a press release stating that bargaining would commence by the end of September.

It is now November, so you may be wondering what has happened in the preceding weeks and why negotiations have not yet commenced?

Once we received the list of employer negotiators and a request for dates to bargain, the Bargaining Oversight Committee informed the government that no bargaining dates would be set until such time as a Bargaining Protocol Agreement was in place.

For those who may be unfamiliar, a Protocol Agreement provides the ground rules for bargaining; providing a common framework that will be beneficial to all parties involved going forward. Despite initial protestations, the Employer eventually agreed to the process. After some negotiations on the matter, an agreement was signed by both parties on October 5.

Another issue that your Union raised with the Employer was that of Essential Services Agreements.

It is our firm opinion that given the numerous changes that have occurred since the last agreement was signed in 2003, it is imperative that new Essential Services Agreements are negotiated. As you are aware, most of the facilities and members have experienced drastic changes since the original agreement was put in place, both in terms of services provided and types of classifications resulting from the Job Evaluation System (JES) implementation.  These changes, coupled with the Supreme Court ruling in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan seriously impact the force and effect of the current agreements.

The issue of Essential Services has yet to be resolved. We are currently waiting for the Employer to set a meeting to chart a path towards a mutually agreeable resolution on this matter.

In the meantime, once a Protocol Agreement was signed off by both parties we immediately began to set dates to commence bargaining with the Employer. This is not as easy a task at it may seem on the surface.

Our Union and our Negotiators have much more on our plate than just this set of bargaining (arbitrations, member servicing, etc…). NAPE also has16 bargaining tables with team members from every corner of this province as well as their schedules, travel, lodgings, etc. to coordinate. In short, facilitating agreeable dates for multiple teams is challenging, especially when you consider the Employer only has five negotiators to cover off on 16 tables.

With that said, we were successful in setting up dates to commence bargaining for all tables. The bargaining schedule appears at the end of this update.

The Bargaining Oversight Committee has begun to meet on a weekly and ‘as needed’ basis, as required. The Committee has and will oversee, coordinate, and provide counsel for all facets of the negotiating process, including ensuring effective communications between all of NAPE’s Negotiating Teams.

We will continue to update the members on bargaining to the extent that we are able, throughout the process. Updates will be sent to Local Officers and Shop Stewards for distribution, posted on the NAPE website, and on Facebook. However, we can and will not bargain in public. Bargaining must be left to the teams at the table.

I can assure you, your democratically elected Bargaining Teams, led by their Negotiators, are well prepared for the task that lay ahead – getting the best possible deal for you, the NAPE membership. Your support and solidarity will help them achieve that goal.

Remember: United we bargain. Divided we beg.

In Solidarity,

Ed Hogan, Senior Negotiator on behalf of the

Bargaining Oversight Committee

Confirmed Public Sector Bargaining Dates

November 14 – 18, 2016                         NAPE Lead Negotiator

NLC                                                                  Austin Deir

MOS                                                                 Frank Pittman

November 21 – 25, 2016

CNA Support Staff                                            Randy Avery

Laboratory & X-Ray                                           Austin Deir

November 28 – December 2, 2016

Group Homes                                                   Elaine Price

CNA Faculty                                                      Christina Kennedy

December 5 to 9, 2016

School Boards                                                  Bernie Power

Marine Services                                                 Paul Foley

Ushers                                                              David Healey

January 9 to 13, 2017

Correctional Officers                                         Frank Pittman

Workplace NL                                                   Chris Henley

Air Services                                                      Elaine Price

January 16 to 20, 2017

Health Professionals                                         Mandy Galway

Student Assistants                                            Vina Gould

Hospital Support Staff                                      Trevor King

General Service                                                 Chris Henley