Fifth week of bargaining
Talks this week centred on important topics already covered in previous sessions, with a more focused look at potential solutions, and the exchange of written proposals in some areas. Please note, as always, that no issue is considered as ‘final’ unless and until a full tentative agreement has been reached and is ready for submission to the membership.
- Seniority bids: The major theme this week was the Union’s interest in opening up guaranteed access for seniority bidders to certain ACCs where there are currently few or no such opportunities. The Company, for its part, wished to discuss the ability to place ab initio trainees in towers without necessarily posting all the positions to the national bid first (as is required presently). This is a complex subject which the Contract Committee is approaching cautiously. Discussion will continue.
- Hours of work: Both sides narrowed down their focus on options generated by the “Hours of Work Committee”. The Union stressed its key aims of seeking shift cycles that provide fewer work days per year, better access to weekend days, maintenance of standard shift lengths, and (if possible) regular rotations that create a ‘cascading’ shift schedule. The Company gave a presentation on certain cycles which it felt might meet some of these interests, but stated that any reduction in days per year would need to be balanced by increased efficiencies or other tradeoffs. More review will be needed to see whether these interests can be bridged.
- Other topics: Discussions continued on such subjects as: the amount of single-controller time in towers; the possible expansion of the compressed work week for non-operating members; refresher training; the content of individual employee files and the impact on future competency hearings; the need for more specialized automation support for towers; and fine-tuning and updating of the arbitration process.
The next meetings are scheduled to commence on March 24 in Ottawa. The intent is to continue meeting and bargaining until a tentative agreement is reached. In the meantime, we will continue to update you as to any developments.