Disagreement Over Government Funding & Other Delays

On April 12th and 13th your union bargaining committee met with the company to continue negotiations for a new union contract.

The parties continued to work through items and issues that do not contain monetary components. This is common during negotiations. Typically, the parties will negotiate non-monetary items first.

Bargaining has progressed slowly since we first met with the employer back in February. The employer continues to resist even some of the most minor changes to your collective agreement – changes that would see improvements in your rights.

Ultimately, this could lead to a lengthy and costly set of negotiations for both sides should their stubbornness continue, not to mention the delay in much needed improvements to your rights and compensation.

By now you have likely heard about the additional government funding, announced in December 2022.

The funding was meant to increase wages for “front-line” workers, in other words – you. In fact, the funding was described in this manner in the release, and by the company in emails to the staff. 

To be clear, your union has not been holding up or interfering with you receiving this increase. As a matter of fact, it was your union who first reached out to the employer for answers and has been for months.

To this date the employer has not provided us with much in the way of explanations or details. However, at the moment we understand that the government money is to be paid April 21st. The details, as explained to your union, are that all employees will get a lump sum payment equal to 10% of their earnings from January 1st to March 31st. This lump sum payment will be subject to applicable taxes and withholdings.

Obviously, this is not the news we were hoping to hear. We believe this should be a wage increase, not a lump sum! We pushed the employer at the bargaining table to be more specific and further questioned them as to why the amount wouldn’t be added to your wage, which the government announcement indicates. To this point the employer’s responses have been vague.

We will continue to investigate this issue and our hope is that we will have clarification soon.

Continue to watch for further updates and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Union Labour Relations Officer, Shauna, or speak to your Union Steward.

In solidarity,

Your Union Bargaining Committee:
Adebowale Fekoya 
Mustapha Magona
Shauna Robertson
Lee Clarke