Vote "NO" to the Proposed Constitutional Amendment

November 01, 2005 Section 13,7 of the Constitution states:
"Notwithstanding Clause 13.6, the financial incentive plan for the TR Group shall be approved by the TR Collective Bargaining Committee"
Here is the amendment proposed by Mr. Richard Oslund, TR-VP.
Notwithstanding Clause 13.6, the financial incentive plan for the TR Group shall be "ratified by the TR Bargaining Unit"
The majority of your National Executive Committee does not support this amendment. Here are the reasons:
i. Voting in favour of the amendment could jeopardize the FIP and deny hundreds of CAPE members thousands of dollars per year. The financial information to negotiate the plan is only fully available in March and the plan must be in place for the beginning of the fiscal year, April 1. A mail ballot vote takes six weeks which would mean that CAPE would be forced to negotiate without reliable information and to commit members each year to a new plan in order to meet the April 1st deadline. This would be irresponsible and unacceptable.
ii. Section 13,7 was agreed to by the two founding organizations of CAPE, (the Canadian Union of Technical and Professional Employees and the Social Science Employees Association) as a cornerstone of and a precondition for the merger to form CAPE. It would set a dangerous precedent if one of the foundational elements of the merger were to be changed, particularly as the proposed change will impact negatively on a majority of the TR Group.
iii. Although the proposed amendment only affects the TR Bargaining Unit, the Constitution stipulates that amendments to the Constitution are to be voted on by all members of the Association. It may be divisive to vote in favour of an amendment which could negatively effect the majority of the TR group.
iv. The majority of TRs supports the Financial Incentive Plan. By Mr. Oslund=s admission in his proposed amendment, 61% of the TRs surveyed in 2003 supported the Plan. In a survey conducted openly and democratically, 61% constitutes a majority. The Plan therefore enjoys the support of the majority of the TRs.
v. The Translation Bureau Local Executive as a whole and the TR Collective Bargaining Committee that negotiated the last FIP for the TRs both support the current Constitutional provision and do not support the proposed amendment.
vi. It should be noted that the FIP is not like a Collective Agreement. Participation in the plan is voluntary. A TR member who disagrees with the content of an FIP negotiated by a Collective Bargaining Committee can simply opt out. Individuals have a choice to participate or not to participate. However, when a Collective Agreement is negotiated and approved by a majority of a Bargaining Unit, no member can opt out of the Agreement. Because of this, a Collective Agreement must be ratified by all the members after it is negotiated.
For all the above reasons your National Executive Committee urges you to vote "NO" to the proposed amendment.