We are pleased to inform you that negotiations have begun for the renewal of the LoP collective agreement which expired on June 16, 2022.
The week of July 11th, the CAPE LoP Collective Bargaining team met with the Employer team to exchange opening, non-monetary proposals. The lead negotiators began a constructive dialogue on the wide range of workplace topics facing CAPE’s LoP members.
Following three days at the bargaining table, we are still at the stage of advocating for the proposals that we’ve put forward to the Employer. Given the summer holidays and vacation schedules, bargaining was put on hold until the Fall. 4 days of bargaining have now been set aside from the end of October to the beginning of November so that the parties can resume negotiations.
With respect to the format and environment in which our exchanges are taking place, CAPE generally opts for confidential and private negotiations to foster candid and open discussions around the table. This creates a protective space for everyone involved to speak freely.
However, we are committed to making sure our LoP members have access to high level information every step of the way to offer an open window into this process and into how we are progressing.
THEMATIC BARGAINING STRANDS
CAPE’s LoP members identified several priorities for the current round of bargaining when responding to our survey that was sent out in January 2022.
The survey results helped the LoP bargaining Team identify a list of priorities that are important to our LoP members.
Those priorities have been grouped into the following five sub-groups, or thematic strands:
- ADJUSTING WAGES AND COMPENSATION
CAPE’s top priority is our wage and compensation proposals. We plan on discussing with the Employer the financial impact felt by our members because of the ongoing inflationary pressures as well as the skyrocketing price of housing. Our wage proposals will reflect these ongoing pressures.
- REFLECTING NEW WORKPLACE REALITIES
The second group of proposals focuses on the new workplace reality created by the pandemic and centres around ensuring that our LoP members enjoy a modern and flexible workplace. The pandemic has undeniably changed the way we work. Employers and employees alike have discovered that it is possible to work remotely while maintaining the same level of productivity.
Our proposals aim at ensuring flexibility for our LoP members in how they work and “where” they work.
- ENSURING A HEALTHY WORKPLACE
The third group of proposals focuses on improvements required to ensure that a healthy workplace is both promoted and maintained. With the high incidence of mental health issues in the workplace, there is a need to ensure added measures are introduced to promote and protect wellbeing in the workplace.
The pursuit of a healthy workplace must also include measures aimed at increasing inclusion within the workplace. Based on the results of our member survey, most of the proposals are preventative in nature and aim to address real issues being faced in the workplace before they escalate.
Examples include the ‘right to disconnect’, the inclusion of protection against harassment in the collective agreement (complementary to Bill C-65), as well as proposals aimed at addressing the fear of reprisals that are preventing our members from coming forward with issues when they arise.
- IMPROVING LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS FOR GREATER WORK-LIFE BALANCE
The fourth group of proposals relates to leave improvements. Leave entitlements are a critical part of a healthy work-life balance and we are looking for improvements in the amount of time provided and asking for additional flexibility, such as the ability to carry over unused leave.
We are advocating to ensure that people have the leave entitlements necessary for various stages of their life. It is not ‘one size fits all’: different leave entitlements speak to different audiences.
- OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST
Finally, the fifth and last group of proposals contains other improvements that do not fall under the previously mentioned groupings. These are principally proposals that focus on joint consultation, allowing for suitable periods of rest between shifts, and changes to professional and career development. This last category is important in the attraction and retention of a highly skilled workforce. In fact, a lack of career development was identified as one of the top reasons in our survey for why people would leave their position.
Additionally, we wish to have a conversation with the Employer to know whether there are any workforce adjustment plans on the horizon and will tailor our proposals accordingly.
CAPE will work actively to see positive movement in each of these areas of priorities at the negotiation table.
We will keep you posted regarding the progress of negotiations as it unfolds.