On Friday, the Guild tabled a proposal for the 2005 wage-reopener; 1% on October 1, 2005 and a further 1% on December 31, 2005.
We believe this is a realistic and very reasonable offer that recognizes the tight financial situation CP/BN is in, while protecting Guild members wage levels going forward.
This proposal will not replace what each of you has given up but it will ensure that our wage scales don’t fall even further behind.
Earlier in the week we reviewed the results of the second quarter. Once again they are positive and there are no unexpected surprises. The pension plans continue to be a serious drain on the company’s finances. However, the money has been found in this year’s budget to cover the required additional contributions.
The Guild bargaining committee made the proposal now because we’re halfway through the year. While we recognize it’s unrealistic and impractical to seek a retroactive increase, we do not want to see our wages once again in a spiral of decline that leaves us uncompetitive in our industry. The collective agreement expires in five months and full negotiations will begin again early in 2006.
Management gave no definitive answer to our offer. We’ve agreed to meet again on September 13-14. The budget setting process will be underway and we expect to have a detailed discussion.
A final note, the wage re-opener negotiations is a quite separate process from the financial presentations being made in bureaus across the country. We encourage all members to attend these presentations and not feel inhibited in asking questions. However, be aware that CP managers will not speak directly with members about negotiations; negotiations are with the Guild and its bargaining team.
Your CMG Bargaining Committee:
Kathy Viner, CMG Staff Representative