Your CUPE Local 15/VSB Bargaining Committee would like to provide you with an update as to how things are progressing with the renewal of your collective agreement.

The Bargaining Committee would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding as they work towards trying to have your concerns and issues addressed by the employer. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, the employer has tabled proposals, which are concessions to your current collective agreement. Your Bargaining Committee will not negotiate away hard-won achievements from past rounds of bargaining.

Your committee is pressing hard on the employer to have them address your concerns on things such as testing, job postings, the use of practicum students, and workload, just to name a few; but there are several of your proposals in play currently. Many of your proposals are being met with resistance by the employer, so it is taking longer for the parties to come to a consensus.

We recognize members are wanting a tentative agreement quickly, but the committee needs to address proposals that will benefit members overall, and working conditions are as vitally important as a wage increase.

The committee is heading into a very crucial stage of the bargaining process, and we hope members will continue to provide us with support and understanding.

The creation of site contacts for our work locations is continuing with three shop stewards visiting worksites to ensure we have a contact at every worksite, in the event we need to mobilize members quickly and to also have an avenue for that contact to relay information back and forth between their location and the Bargaining Committee.

Just a reminder of how the renewal for your collective agreement works. You are still covered by your collective agreement that expired in June because by law in British Columbia, all union contracts remain in effect until such time a new contract is ratified by the membership or the parties commence a strike or lockout. We are not anywhere near a strike or lockout, and the committee is still negotiating with the employer. Therefore, you are still covered by the terms of the previous contract and you will remain protected by it.

Once a tentative agreement is reached between the parties, it will be brought back to the membership to vote on. As in the past, meetings will be scheduled to explain the terms of that contract and voting will take place in person.

Once again, thank you for your support and patience as we work through this particularly challenging time. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your shop steward on any matter.

In solidarity,

Chris Brown
Suzette Magri
Vanessa Mani-Garrett
Debbie Mohabir
Cynthia Schadt
Rufa Sese
Kathie Currie, Staff Representative
Warren Williams, President