Negotiations Update

Mediation resumed on Thursday, May 21, 2015.  The Mediator had earlier stated that he was available to meet until approximately noon, Saturday, May 23.

The District tabled an offer comprised of significant additions including provisions on training, Occupational Health and Safety, equalization of overtime and other changes.  

The Union’s proposal was presented at 12:25 p.m. on Saturday, May 23.  This made it impossible to respond before the Mediator was due to leave. 

Later in the day, the Union posted a statement that this was the Union’s ‘BEDROCK’ position and the ‘bare minimum that will improve our working lives’.

The Union’s statement is misleading.  As a result, the District is compelled to outline some of the extensive language and financial items which have been tabled or have been agreed upon.

Summary of Negotiations

Wages:

The District has offered a 2.5% increase in each of three (3) years, which will make our employees the highest paid in the Province.

The District offered a reasonable signing bonus; the Union wants a higher bonus.

Benefits:

The District made improvements to almost every health and welfare benefit in the Collective Agreement, ranging from increased amounts for hearing aids, wellness treatments, dental and vision as well as oral contraceptives coverage.  Premium payments have also increased throughout the Agreement.

Security of Employment:

The District has agreed to renew a letter guaranteeing that no regular employee can be laid off, under any circumstances.  The Union wants the District to agree to a set number of employees, referred to as a manning clause.  This is not about protecting existing employees.

Health and Safety:

The District had conditionally agreed to extensive language, despite its view that its proposal protected employee safety, particularly when combined with the District’s commitment to retain the services of an expert Health and Safety Officer to assist the parties in ensuring policies and procedures were safe.  The District is reverting to its language.

Part-time Employees:

The Union had concerns that the District employed too many part-time employees.  The District offered to create full-time positions and allow part-timers to access extra hours.

Public Works Issues:

The Union tabled a large numbers of issues applicable only to Public Works. The District has agreed to most of the demands but some issues are still outstanding.

Further Wage Increases Based on New Industry:

The Union wants the District to increase rates of pay by $0.50 upon a Final Investment Decision being made by a new major industry and another $0.50 once the District collects any revenue from such new industry.  A $0.50 increase represents another 1.7% increase for labourers and considerably more for lower rated positions.  This demand is in addition to the 2.5% per year increase the District has offered.

The above represents only a summary of the language and financial changes the District has agreed to. It is obvious the District cannot agree to all of the Union’s demands as this would prevent the District from managing its operations with any flexibility and would impose extreme cost on all citizens.

For more details, please email info@kitimat.ca

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Media Contact:
Warren Waycheshen, Interim Chief Administrative Officer, 250-639-6335