The Employer’s letter of April 21, 2011 insinuated that CULE is attempting to maintain language (Article 23.08 (a)) in the collective agreement to make a further claim for double severance entitlement. In fact, CULE is attempting to maintain language in the collective agreement which has been there for 34 years. The Employer has never tabled a bargaining proposal on this issue until this round of bargaining.
While CULE was unsuccessful at the arbitration hearing, Arbitrator Germaine stated that: “In my view, a comprehensive interpretation is not possible in a single arbitration. The uncertainty is most appropriately addressed at the bargaining table but, if the parties are unable to agree on the circumstances in which the provision operates, a more comprehensive interpretation must await future disputes and arbitration.” (para 50 & 51). Download the full decision here.
CULE, in an attempt to remove a major roadblock to a settlement, CULE proposed a number of creative ways to deal with Article 23.08. The Employer rejected each of our proposals outright. They went on to state that “a settlement will not be reached with Article 23.08 maintained in the collective agreement.”
For the Employer to maintain this concession and cause a labour dispute and then further to blame CULE because they made the decision to postpone two Regional Conventions is wrong. It violates basic trade union principals which we all practice in our day to day work as staff.