Date: June 8, 2023
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
In our most recent update of the 27th of March 2023, we informed you that we had tabled a last position at bargaining which the Employer did not accept. We declared an impasse and asked the Labour Relations Board to assist us in bargaining. Under the law the first step in that process is for the parties to meet with a conciliator appointed by the Executive Director of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. We met with the conciliator and the Employer on the 6th of June and the morning of the 7th. That step was not successful. We are disappointed but not surprised. We were prepared for it and because this is only one step of the process, we are not discouraged.
When the assistance in bargaining application is submitted the two sides are required to provide their last positions tabled at bargaining. The Employer submitted a slightly amended version of what they had tabled at bargaining. It was less than they had offered before. At conciliation, they insisted that it be treated as a counter proposal, and they declined to proceed until the Union tabled a counter proposal. As well as being less than their last position it wasn’t even a binding offer. It had conditions and attachments. To make a long story short it was impossible for the Union to provide a counter proposal. We made a lot of effort to find a way forward by sending suggestions through the conciliator, but the Employer would not agree to provide a binding offer or promise to respond with one. They were effectively refusing to bargain. Late in the morning of June 7, 2023 the Union’s committee determined that we could not succeed in achieving a collective agreement at this stage of the process. Conciliation would not work. If we continued, we would only erode our current position without getting a deal. We informed the conciliator that we were stopping the process and that we will wait until we can move to the next step.
Under the law the parties are obliged to allow 120 days for conciliation to work. When conciliation fails, the next step is for the party that applied for assistance to make a second application asking the Labour Relations Board (LRB) to impose a collective agreement. The Board either holds a hearing or appoints an arbitrator to determine the contents of the collective agreement based on the last positions of the parties and their rationale for those positions. We therefore must wait until the August 12, 2023 before we can make our second application to the LRB. In the meantime, we will await notification from the Employer that they wish to change their position. If we do not hear from them, we will proceed. Nothing that’s on the table has changed since our last update except that the Employer has backtracked slightly.
Please watch for further updates and notification of any meetings. Please also forward any questions or concerns you have to the bargaining committee either directly or through the Member Resource Centre by phone at 1-888-7348 ext 2298, by email at [email protected], or by using the contact form on our website. We will provide further updates as information becomes available and when we make our next application to the Board.
Thank you for your patience and support.
Your SEIU-West Spruce Manor Special Care Home Bargaining Committee
Brenda Morrison (Unit Chair) • Mildred Braun (Unit Communicator) • Brenda Soiseth (Unit Vice-Chair) Staff Cam McConnell (Northern Negotiations Officer) • Tracy Goodheart (Union Representative)