Public Sector Bargaining Update 7
March 2, 2017
Dear NAPE Public Sector Member,
This is our seventh in an ongoing series of updates regarding public sector bargaining.
Government Files Request for Conciliation Board
The main reason for this update is to inform you that NAPE was served notice that the provincial government had requested the appointment of a Conciliation Board for public sector bargaining. This occurred on Friday, February 24.
The following six tables have been served:
NLC, School Boards, LX, MOS, Group Homes, and Marine Services.
What is conciliation?
For those who are unfamiliar, conciliation services are provided to unions and employers to help the parties reach a collective agreement. Normally, this occurs when bargaining has gone on for some time or when progress at the table stalls. Either side may request conciliation.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the provincial government has ever filed for conciliation in public sector bargaining. It is unprecedented.
The thing that is most aggravating and, frankly, insulting, about this move by the government is that most of our groups have not even had more than two or three passes at the table.
Clearly, the government is not giving this process the respect it deserves – and they are trying to rush the process along – to what end? At this point we are unsure.
For those who are new to bargaining, applying for conciliation this early in the process is not normal and in our opinion, it is unwarranted.
At this stage, we are also unsure why they have chosen these six groups, in particular.
United we stand.
To that end, we have decided that it is the best course of action for our union and in the spirit of solidarity for NAPE to file for a Conciliation Board with the other groups that are currently at the bargaining table. We will be making a final determination in the near future on when we file for each bargaining table.
We have made this decision because we don’t want to get into a situation where there are two or more streams or timelines of bargaining happening within NAPE – united we stand, divided we fall.
We will have to wait and see how the conciliation process plays out. I can tell you personally, and on behalf of our bargaining teams and negotiators, that we are fully committed to reaching a deal at the bargaining table. However, it takes both the union and the government to reach an agreement.
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.
Ed Hogan, Senior Negotiator on behalf of the
Bargaining Oversight Committee