Toronto – June 13, 2019 – After another tremendous fundraising season that topped $2.3 million, the UFCW Canada union family of members, activists and Local Unions have altogether raised over $43.7 million over the past three decades for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC).
With bargaining stalled at seven crown corporations in Saskatchewan, Unifor has launched a new, highly visible campaign in Regina and Saskatoon.
“We are turning up the heat on the government and the crowns to settle this and give our members what they deserve – a fair collective agreement,” said Western Regional Director Joie Warnock.
Billboards are up all over Regina (including right next to SaskTel) and Saskatoon and the message takes direct aim at the government. ‘Premier Moe and MLAs got a 2.3% pay increase. If it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me.’
Unifor member and SaskTel employee Jaime Sorrell is featured on the billboard. Her look of steely determination represents many Unifor members who are frustrated the government is dragging out the bargaining process.
The airwaves are also being blanketed by ads delivering a similar message in both cities. Listen to it on SoundCloud here.
Unifor workers at all seven crown corporations will be in a legal strike position in July.
“The Premier needs to get serious about negotiations to avoid a major disruption in Crown services,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias. “The province is trying to cut costs on the backs of workers who have helped the Crowns be successful and strengthen Saskatchewan’s economy.”
Following an increase in provincial revenues, MLAs received a pay hike. Their basic annual income rose to $111,000 in April, a 2.3% increase. The government is attempting to impose another wage freeze on Crown employees.
Five thousand Unifor members work at SaskTel, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SaskWater, the Saskatchewan Water Authority, Directwest and SecurTek. All have expired collective agreements.
TRURO, Nova Scotia – Unifor leadership and members hosted a rally and BBQ at Tandus Carpets in Truro on June 7 to support the more than 200 members who will lose their jobs next month when the carpet manufacturer moves their jobs to Georgia.
In April, Tarkett (a global flooring company with over $3.1 billion US in revenues) announced it would close its Truro business, Tandus. Unifor represents the workers at Tandus, one of Truro’s largest private-sector employers.
The news came as a shock to the workers many of whom had given decades of loyalty and service to the company. Seventy of the workers have more than 30 years’ seniority and 48 of them more than 40 years. In addition, there had been new hires over the past few years, including within months of the announced closure.
Since the announcement, Unifor has made repeated requests to meet with the company in an effort to negotiate a fair closure agreement.
“We would expect the company would offer a generous severance package for the employees given all their years of loyalty and dedicated service and work,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. “Not only have they refused to offer any form of compensation to our members they have been unwilling to meet with the union to discuss severance and other issues related to the announced closure.”
The reorganization of the parent company Tarkett will see the work currently being done by the workers of Truro moving to Georgia in the United States. Georgia is a “right-to-work” state known for its low wages and lack of union protections.
“This is a cold-hearted business decision that has nothing to do with markets, but rather with shifting work to a place where the labour is cheap,” said Payne.
Adding to the problem is a sub-standard Industry Closing Act in Nova Scotia that provides few obligations from employers and businesses who decide to abandon workers and communities.
For example, the penalties associated with violating the act are a completely ineffective $100 a day.
“We are demanding the employer sit down and negotiate a fair closure agreement with our union and we expect politicians to stand up for the workers of the province,” said Payne.
Unifor has proposed a closure agreement to the company and has yet to receive a response.
Winnipeg – June 12, 2019 – UFCW Canada Local 832 activists recently kicked off the 2019 Pride season in Manitoba, marching loud and proud at the 32nd annual Pride parade in Winnipeg.
One of the more disturbing findings of the Auditor General’s report is that even when it was clear that privatization was more expensive the government still privatized highway maintenance work.
"NUPGE supports the recommendations in the Hoskins report and calls on the federal government to implement universal, single-payer, public pharmacare" – Larry Brown, President
More than 200 people accepted Unifor's invitation last Sunday to participate in a party in Grande-Rivière, Gaspésie. The festive event was an opportunity "to explain what we are doing in the region," said Renaud Gagné, Unifor’s Quebec director.
For more than two weeks now, teams of members from all regions of Quebec have demonstrated in the port of Grande-Rivière and a picket line has been set up near the crustaceans plant Crustacés de Gaspé. This plant was not reopened for the 2019 season as we were in the process of negotiating the first collective agreement.
Unifor deplores the conditions of work in this industry, including extreme hours of work, unpaid overtime, pay close to the legal minimum, and so on. "The natural richness of fish and shellfish should be more equitable for the entire region and not just for quota and permit holders. There are a handful of millionaires, and they are not giving workers their fair share. It doesn’t make sense,” said Gagné.
Unifor is also calling for better working conditions for fishermen's assistants who work on boats. "We want to get recognition of their status as boat captains. This is a federal responsibility and the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have been demanding this. During this election period, it is clear that we will present this claim," added Gagné.
Because of the organization of work, unionization as a fisherman's aid is difficult, so a community section has been set up to represent them. "It's about having their profession recognized to ensure job stability, better pay and safer working conditions."
On June 10, an arbitration decision was rendered in the case between Unifor Local 1209 and Delastek. This decision marks a turning point in this labor dispute which began in April 2015. "It's a very good decision,” said Quebec Director Renaud Gagné. “The main point of our dispute is settled by the proposal we made and we could not have hoped for a better outcome. The most important thing is that now the rules are clear. We must look to the future and turn the page,” said Gagné.
Many bonuses were obtained while the parties were negotiating in parallel with the arbitration process. For example, salaries will be increased between $ 1.20 an hour and $ 5.30 an hour, retroactively to March 12, 2018, with the addition of floating holidays, a fifth week of vacation after 20 years of seniority and many other gains.
The members of Local 1209 went on strike on April 1, 2015. In March 2018, they agreed to put an end to the dispute following an agreement with the employer to resort to arbitration to decide the points still in dispute.
Delastek is an aeronautical components manufacturing company based in Shawinigan which employs approximately 25 members of Unifor Local 1209.
Kennedy said he's concerned that the government will use the legislated wage cuts as an excuse to further cut college funding.
Please refer to our Collective Agreement Article 44.03 (page 90) and Schedule B (page 187)
The Triennial Review process is outlined within 44.03 of our Collective Agreement and states that each Dean, Budget Unit Head or designated supervisor must complete a review of the existing job description for each position reporting to her to confirm the actual content and responsibility of the position at least once every three years as listed on the Review Schedule outline in Schedule B. This review shall be submitted to the incumbent employee who shall be given the opportunity to add her comments. The process and timeline for such review is subject to Article 44.04.
Important points about the process:
- Any change in duties that are significant and permanent should be added
- Your PDQ must be reviewed, updated (where/if necessary), and signed by 3 parties: incumbent employee, designated supervisor, and Dean, Budget Unit Head or Designate
- You are entitled to up to 2 hours during work time to complete the review – you do not have to make up this time
- You are encouraged to add your comments to the document.
- The Dean, Budget Unit Head or designate shall either agree and sign or amend and sign, after which they will forward the PDQ for evaluation to Human Resources within 30 days, with a copy of the (signed) PDQ given to the incumbent employee, which will include any comments added by the incumbent employee. Please ensure you receive this copy for your records.
- Any salary change resulting from a reclassification will be retroactive to the first of the month following the date that the PDQ is date stamped by the Dean, Budget Unit Head or designate.
It is very important that your PDQ accurately reflects the work being performed for the position. We have heard of supervisors saying ‘not to include so many details’. It is important to include details that would provide an accurate description of the work being performed. We encourage you to reference Schedule A when reviewing your PDQ. Schedule A outlines the factors and subfactors that are used to determine the levels, which ultimately determine the points, you receive in each area. There are very clear descriptions for what each subfactor is measuring. We encourage you to read this to provide you with a greater understanding of how the criteria is weighted and to help ensure you are providing the most appropriate examples for each factor.
Another helpful resource is the job profiles, which can be found at the following link: https://www.uwo.ca/hr/working/groups_agreements.html Scroll down to the bottom, and click the Job Evaluation (JES) transition link. You will then need to sign in using your Western credentials, but will now be able to access the Job Profiles. We encourage you to use this as another resource for better understanding the types of duties/responsibilities between similar positions, but of different classifications.
Finally, UWOSA has worked very hard to obtain the language of Article 44(Job Evaluation) and 56 (Pay Equity). Many members suffered a loss of compensation due to the delay in leaders completing and signing the PDQ documents. By now, the excuse of ‘I didn’t know’ can no longer be used. Year 1 reviews must be submitted by June 30, 2019. If you fall into one of the units listed below and have not yet began the review process, please reach out to your supervisor and ask for your Triennial review to be initiated. Please reach out to our office firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having any problems in this regard. Any year 1 PDQs that are not completed by the deadline, UWOSA will be filing grievances on our member’s behalf to ensure the process is respected and adhered to. Please reach out to the office if you require supports or clarification regarding the process – we are happy to help.
Year 1 runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
The following units are included in year 1:
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Arts and Humanities
- Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculty of Engineering
- School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
- Student Experience
- Western Technology Services
- Advancement Services
- Animal Care
- Student Health Services
- Research and Development Services & WORLDiscoveries
- Western International
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Que. – June 10, 2019 – UFCW Canada Local 501 members working at the Association chasse et pêche Martin-Pêcheur, a hunting and fishing association in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, have a new union contract that provides wage increases, higher premiums, and more.
"There are 2 important things the government must do right now to start to close the affordability gap: close the loopholes that let employers pay less than minimum wage, and continue to invest in high quality public services like transit, health care, housing, and child care to bring down the cost of living." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Unifor’s Communications Department was recognized with two awards at this year’s Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM) conference on June 8 in Winnipeg.
UNIFOR won the “Best Use of Social Media” award for its groundbreaking use of FaceBook Live to stream events from picket lines in Goderich, Thunder Bay and Gander.
“I am proud of the Unifor team for being recognized for using modern tools to bring the fight against scabs to members across the country,” said Jerry Dias, National President.
Unifor’s aggressive communications strategy has seen a 600 per cent increase in engagement on Facebook by increasing the use of videos to help inspire and mobilize members of the union and the general public, and put national and international public pressure on employers who try to bust unions.
Unifor also won the “Fighting Oppression Award” for a communications initiative that raises consciousness and contributes to struggles against racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism and other forms of oppression and discrimination: The workers with disAbilities video showcases the contributions workers with disabilities make on the job and in their local unions. The production was the first of its kind for workers with disabilities in Unifor and brought to light the diversity of disabilities that exist and how their workplaces are adapted.
Since its release, the video helped situate disability rights and inclusion as central to the equity work of the union and uses an intersectional lens when looking at disability.
Unifor locals were well-represented at the annual conference, with members from Locals 1-S, 88, 112, 594, 1285, 2002 and 5555 present, as well as national staff. Information about all of Unifor winners is available here.
CALM brings together more than 200 labour unions across Canada to strategize and better communicate with members, campaigns and issues.
Local unions of all sizes benefit from CALM membership through resources, education, training and support. For more information about membership, or to join, click here.