As you know we have been in bargaining with your employer in an attempt to achieve a new Union Contract for you to vote on. It has been a tedious process dealing with 3 different Collective Agreements in one set of negotiations. On top of that, we have been working toward amending these Agreements to conform to the Co-operative style we had with your predecessor Canada Safeway.
Your employer came to the table with 181 proposals for all 3 Collective Agreements. Your union brought forward a combined total of 149 proposals, which were provided by the membership and Union Representatives. We have just recently completed 15 days of negotiations in an attempt to resolve all 330.
The process flowed well considering how complicated it can be dealing with 3 different Collective Agreements at once. We have moved a long way toward having 3 new Union Contracts for you to vote on. For the most part it has gone smoothly, but we have now come to a crossroads and negotiations have come to an impasse in several areas, with wages and benefits being the biggest concern for your union bargaining committee.
Your employer has given us a position on wages and benefits that is unacceptable. We have provided what we believe to be a fair counter offer but your employer has responded with a firm “NO” to our wage and benefit proposals, among others. Your committee has determined that we are too far apart to come to an agreement, therefore, we felt strongly that we had no other option but to apply for mediation to try and help bring the parties closer together.
Application for mediation was made on October 28th and we are now waiting for the Alberta Labour Relations Board’s Mediation Services to appoint a government mediator to set future bargaining dates. This should not be a lengthy process, however, with Christmas right around the corner, dates will likely be difficult to arrange quickly. Because of this, we suspect dates to begin mediation will be set sometime in the New Year. We will be coming to you with an offer to vote on after that time and will keep you updated throughout the mediation process.
We are working hard to move the process forward in order to achieve a new Union Contract for you to review as soon as we possibly can. We ask that you check your union website at: www.ufcw401.ca for future dates as well as regular bargaining updates.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please give your Union Representative a call and they will be happy to answer them.
Your Negotiating Committee
Posted on: November 06,2015