I am writing on behalf of the entire CUPE 391 Bargaining Committee, because I think it’s important to share with all of you, how dedicated we all are in making positive changes for our members in this next round of bargaining. I feel I am capable of speaking to this as I know my own commitment to this end is very strong, and that this level of commitment is shared by all the members of the Bargaining Committee.
Most of you will remember (probably like a bad dream), the enormously challenging and stressful three and a half months we spent as a local pounding the pavement to try and make changes in a very challenging bargaining environment. During this time, the Bargaining Committee worked very hard to communicate to the membership what was happening at the table as much as possible. Often we had nothing to report, as the Employer’s bargaining team seemed to feel no urgency to come back to the table. At one point, we waited an entire month, and had to attempt to shame them publicly to get them to meet with us.
Nevertheless, we approached every meeting in good faith, hoping each time to see a break, some movement in a positive direction. We met in smaller groups to try and resolve our issues. We agreed to meet with two different mediators, finally having to accept a mediated proposal that truly was compromise that didn’t really satisfy anyone.
How do I know this? I was there.
Now here we are again, poised at the bargaining table. And again, we are hopeful, and determined, to make positive gains for the membership. Many of our proposals attempt to address fundamental inadequacies in our Collective Agreement that we believe the employer will, and should, have a desire to resolve. Unencumbered in this round of bargaining by the interference of the GVRD (Greater Vancouver Regional District), which has been blamed for the unproductive bargaining of the past, we hope that we can finally have, as we have always tried to have, true and frank discussions with the employer about the issues that concern our membership. We are open to creative solutions, and we are open to a good and productive relationship with our employer, as we always have been.
Again, I will reiterate our commitment as a Bargaining Committee to always act in good faith and approach all things with an open mind, in the hopes of a productive and positive outcome. At the same time, this means a commitment not to engage in discourse that will compromise our membership, or place them at a disadvantage. We are also committed to fair and open discussions with the membership about what is happening around and in bargaining, and are available for questions at any time. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or in person to any member of the Bargaining Committee.
Your You-nion, Your Bargaining Committee
Alex Youngberg (President)
Gary Jarvis (Vice-President)
Gerard Batty (Vice-President)