Dear brother/sister,

This is our ninth in an ongoing series of updates regarding public sector bargaining.

Please share this information with members at your respective Local/Worksite.

Update on Conciliation

As per our last update, NAPE entered into the conciliation process with government/employers in April.

The following groups have met with the employer with the assistance of a conciliation officer:

Air Services

CNA Faculty

CNA Support Staff

General Service

Group Homes

Health Professionals

Laboratory & X-Ray

Marine Services

MOS

NLC

School Boards

Student Assistants

Ushers

Workplace NL

Public Comments Made by Minister of Finance Regarding Bargaining

On May 15th, at a meeting of the Chartered Accountants Association, Minister Bennett made several, unprompted comments about the public sector bargaining.

Minister Bennett has, once again, brought issues pertaining to public sector collective bargaining to the media. Such actions do nothing to move things along at the table and only serve to sow distrust between the two parties.

The Minister continues to take a position that only serves to undermine the Collective Bargaining process, ignoring legislation designed to assist the parties in negotiating a new collective agreement. At this stage, we can only take such actions are part of an intentional effort to derail the bargaining process.

The government was in a rush to enter the conciliation process – now they seem to be in a rush to exit the conciliation process. It really calls into question how committed the government is to the process.

The Labour Relations Agency has informed us that the conciliation process is still ongoing, despite the position of the Minister of Finance. We will also be expressing our frustration with the contempt that the government is showing for the independent conciliation process.

We are also exploring the possibility of taking further action.

“Tier Two Bargaining”

Although we are in the early stages of the conciliation process, the Minister has unilaterally suggested that we abandon that process, which is clearly outlined in the Public Service Collective Bargaining Act,  and move to “a more focused process involving a combination of NAPE bargaining groups where the parties can jointly discuss and negotiate all outstanding priority issues at one main table comprised of two committees…”

The Minister of Finance has referred to this proposal in the House of Assembly and in the media as “Tier Two Bargaining”. Quite frankly, we are not sure what this is.

The process the government is suggesting is not outlined in the Public Service Collective Bargaining Act. Also, it is clear from the employer’s letter on the subject and from multiple comments made by the Minister of Finance in the media and the House of Assembly that this process would focus on the employer’s issues/proposals only.

This is not bargaining. What the government is suggesting is a process of contemplating a series of unilateral demands.

We have since responded to this request outlining NAPE’s willingness to work within the Public Service Collective Bargaining Act and continue the conciliation process, which is still in its early stages.

NAPE is firmly committed to reaching a deal at the table. While we do not believe that conciliation services were needed at this stage in bargaining, we are doing everything in our power to work with the assigned conciliation officers to move the process forward.

To that end, we have requested additional bargaining dates with the employer and the Labour Relations Agency.

At the time of writing this update, we have not heard back from either group with additional dates. We will update you on this as we move forward.

At this stage, we will have to wait and see how the conciliation process plays out.

Hospital Support Staff (HSS) Collective Bargaining Update

After some disagreement regarding the interpretation of the HSS collective agreement, we began bargaining with the employer for this group in April. We met again with the employer in May.

The next round of bargaining dates for this group is set for: June 21 – 23  

Correctional Officers Collective Bargaining Update

We are currently working to set up bargaining dates with the employer.

What’s next? 

That is all the info we can provide at this stage.

We are hopeful that the employer will agree to meet with us at the table with the assistance of conciliation officers to continue that process. We are also hopeful that the Minister of Finance will cease her forays into the media to discuss bargaining and focus instead on working with us to get a deal at the table.

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.

In Solidarity,

Ed Hogan, Senior Negotiator on behalf of the

Bargaining Oversight Committee