Your bargaining committee met with the employers last Friday, September 15, for a full day of negotiations. The union put forward a comprehensive framework agreement with the goal of making significant progress towards a tentative agreement.
What is a comprehensive framework agreement?
In this case, it is a document with all the changes the union is seeking in this round of negotiations for the employers to consider. It allows the employers to see the entirety of the changes we are seeking all at once, instead of discussing individual changes. (which is what is typically done during bargaining sessions)
Why do this?
We have been negotiating for almost a full year now, and to date we have made limited progress towards a new agreement. It was our hope that this approach would help the parties make progress and really highlight your key issues for the employer.
What happens next?
The bargaining committee feels the framework agreement was positively received. After our last bargaining session, the union applied for mediation through the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB).
You might not be familiar with the term mediation, and as per the LRB mediation is:
When the union and employer (the parties) are negotiating a collective agreement, they may need a neutral person to help. A mediator can help the parties reach an agreement on all or some of the terms of a collective agreement.
We know that reaching a tentative agreement in a timely manner is important to members, and we feel that working with a mediator at this point in negotiations could help get us over the finish line and complete this round of negotiations.
The LRB has assigned a mediator to this file, and the union, employers and mediator will now work to schedule dates for mediation sessions. As soon as those dates are finalized, we will send another update to members.
Your support matters.
Lastly, we want to thank all of you for your ongoing support during this round of negotiations. Your support matters and we are going to continue to advocate for the bargaining priorities you identified at the bargaining table.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org