We thought it time to bring you up to date on the issues at the table and the tone of the talks.
Much is made of the number of issues outstanding. The truth is little hangs on that number because most of those items will not prevent the parties from getting a deal and returning you to work.
So far the Corporation has given little indication it is seeking a quick end to its lockout. It has been unmoved on its demands to engage more contract staff, without restrictions or reason. It is also holding fast on its positions around the treatment of employees during a downsizing. It continues to seek language that would significantly limit employee’s rights to exercise seniority during a layoff. The Corporation is still trying to reduce severance pay and we have still not resolved the rules around contracting out. We are still discussing language on job evaluation and we have yet to begin talks on wages and other monetary issues.
We know this all sounds a little daunting but we have always known there were four or five issues that would require hard work to get to the finish line. We continue to put in long days and are working through the weekend. One thing is clear: there needs to be willingness on the part of both parties to compromise.
Part of the frustration we are feeling is around the way the talks are being conducted. On one hand, management continues, wrongly, to blame the Guild for the pace of the talks. On the other, it is clear the management committee cannot make the critical decisions to settle the outstanding issues and frequently takes long hours, even days, to get approval from senior management. The process makes quick exchanges of proposals and decisions virtually impossible.
A deal is achievable. We hope it will happen soon. Unfortunately, it is going to take more time. We share your frustration and appreciate your support. We are committed to working as hard as we can to get you the fair deal you deserve.