On April 17, 2012, the QEC bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the employer using the assistance of a mediator. Most issues had already been settled in negotiations, but there were 6 issues left on the table. The Union wanted a better wage increase and an increase to the Location Allowance. The employer had four things that they wanted to take out of the collective agreement. These included reducing the overtime banks to 75 hours, non-refillable.
Here is the agreement that will be taken to the membership for a vote in May:
- Wage increase of 2.5% in 2011 (retroactive), 2% in 2012 and 2% in 2013. This means that if the agreement is ratified, members will immediately get a pay increase of 4.5%.
- A lump sum signing bonus of $1,100 to everyone who is an employee on the date of ratification. This is instead of an increase to the Location Allowance, but is approximately equal to what you would have received if the Location Allowance had been increased by 2% per year.
- All concessions have been dropped except for part of the overtime bank issue. The employer wanted to decrease the amount of overtime you could bank to 75 hours, non-refillable. The number of hours you can bank has not changed. You can still bank 21 days. You will no longer, however, be able to refill your bank. Once you reach 21 days, all further overtime will be paid in cash. We recognize that this will negatively affect some members, but we were obliged to allow a concession in order to get the increase in wages and the signing bonus, and this was much better than the decrease in hours proposed by the employer.
All of the changes that were negotiated will be presented to the members at the ratification meeting. If the tentative agreement is not ratified, we will take strike action. There is no further possibility of negotiating improvements - the members will be asked to vote on whether they want to accept the agreement, or whether they want to go on strike.
Your bargaining team believes that this is the best agreement that can be obtained for the members at this time, and believe that accepting it is preferable to going on strike.
A schedule for the ratification meetings will be made available as soon as arrangements for the vote have been completed.