Members employed in ETS Main will vote on a new contract on Tuesday. There is a lot of good healthy discussion going on about this contract and we appreciate that. I want to take a bit of your time to give some perspective from the Negotiating Committee and the Executive.
There is no new money in this Memorandum. Not one cent. Any monetary changes are a result of the committee shuffling things around to make more sense of it. There was no money in the DATS Agreement in these 2 years and the little bit of money achieved in the CUPE Agreement was because they gave up their signups.
We did not give up any signup rights. In fact, Transit fleet agreed to strengthen seniority rights when issuing overtime. And we certainly did not give up any monetary value. We DID shift money from Service Pay to the Health Care Spending Account. Service Pay is an archaic taxable benefit that, despite the efforts of every single Negotiating Committee in every round of bargaining, has not been increased in more than half a century. On the other hand, the Health Care Spending Account is a modern non – taxable perk that benefits all members equally.
We also convinced the City to reduce the amount of time it holds the 1 st level of discipline on file for progression. This is an action that will save members’ jobs. Too many times, a second infraction occurs in that final 6 month period and the member is assigned a higher level of discipline because of it. Once you’re into that long 2-year period of recovery, it can be very difficult to get out of it.
We also loosened up the restrictions around bereavement leave to reflect the modern world. Members will not be required to attend a funeral to qualify for the leave and we will be able to split the leave if we need to. Little things can make a big difference when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one.
There are commitments to work on problem areas like Long Term Disability and Reconciliation Days (for TPOs). There’s language that allows operators to choose the uniform parts they actually need rather than having a set parcel forced on them every year. We won’t have the 30-day limit to worry about when we have a life-event and need to change our benefits. Documentation from Midwifes will satisfy the requirements for maternity leave.
So, there are a number of things in this package to help make our lives easier, but I’d like to talk a bit about what to expect going forward. This is a 2 year deal and 2020 is the 2 nd year. If we ratify it, it means we’ll go back into negotiations this fall in the expectation of bringing home a better deal.
If we do not ratify the present offer this time, it will lead fairly quickly to Mediation. A provincially appointed mediator will attempt to bring the parties together for another Memorandum. The Mediator will then issue a report and recommendation. If the Parties do not accept the recommendation, it is the start of a 2-week “cooling off” period. After that, the Parties are open to lock-out or strike.
It is YOUR contract. YOUR vote will tell us how you want us to handle it. We believe it is the best deal available at this time and we urge you to vote YES on Tuesday. It will give us a mandate to move forward with a new proposal and new energy. Whatever your take, PLEASE VOTE!
ATU Local 569