NEWS RELEASE · 5th April 2015
District of Kitimat
The District of Kitimat is eager to resolve the current labour dispute with its unionized workers. The District values its employees, who are also our friends and neighbours.
Our previous Collective Agreement was already one of the best in British Columbia. For 2014 our labourers were paid $29.43/hour. The labourers in Fort St. John, Burnaby, and Trail: $27.06, $25.84 and $27.26 respectively. Terrace’s labourers were paid at the rate of $25.43.
Our Collective Agreement had excellent benefits and rights. For example, it prohibited the District from laying-off 58 full-time and 14 regular part-time employees, regardless of its needs. This is a rare provision.
Between December 2014 and February 2015 the negotiating parties met over 20 times. The District agreed to increase the number of full-time positions, add an apprenticeship program and make many other improvements as well as offer wage increases of 2.5% in each year from 2015 to 2017.
The District met again and offered further improvements, including enhanced seniority and occupational health and safety language, and agreeing to engage the services of a Health and Safety Officer. The strike continued.
Then on April 3, the District met once more to respond to the Union’s latest Offer to Settle and to negotiate, in a further effort to end the strike. At the meeting, the District offered to reduce the number of summer students (at the Union’s request) to create more full-time positions during the summer season and proposed a manning clause to guarantee a number of positions. Unfortunately, there was no negotiation or no compromise by the Union. The Union reprimanded the District’s representatives and asked them to leave.
The Union has consistently indicated the District’s offers are not sufficient to end the current labour dispute.
Time to park the bus
Comment by rob on 7th April 2015
Labor contracts are the puerperal work in progress, never complete and rarely end with both parties aligned. The term inroads signal the end of one contract and the starting point for the next contract.
The term “war” is a misused word for most wars end in the subjugation of the other party, as what has been discovered is that the ones who won the war write the history to reflect their values.
The optimum outcome is called a “Win-Win outcome”, not war this negotiation has and continues to loose traction for both sides. Is it not time to cool down and proceed with the advances that have been made for the whole. The whole is all three parties, union, district, and the public; for both sides main purpose is to serve a function for the public good.
I have heard the words mediation used; this is not a precise system. Mediation is not about the perceived right and wrong; it is about “The role of the mediator is to help others resolve their problems in a mutually agreeable way without getting bogged down in the problem themselves.”
It’s time to use constructive reasoning and remove the emotions that are driving the bus, take some of the inroads with the bus and drop off the emotions. Start reasoning for if you don’t the mediator first task will be to! For the most part emotions trick the brain into moves that in retrospect don’t represent the true face of the person or party true intentions.