In an effort to push bargaining forward and secure a Collective Agreement that advances the interests of our members – rather than the UCP’s agenda - your negotiations team met with the employer over two days. However, it’s clear political ideology is steering their strategy because SAIT was unwilling to move on any of their unreasonable proposals.
For the first part of the morning of day 1 they wasted our time, fighting your negotiations team on standard AUPE Collective Agreement language to avoid the real issues that affect our membership. SAIT is determined to ban printing of the Collective Agreement on SAIT printers. And they refused to agree to not impose discipline on members who disobey. If a member wants a Collective Agreement, leave the premises, and go to the AUPE office – this was their rationale, even though there’s a good chance they would discipline you for leaving work during work hours.
They also want to limit members’ time off for Education, Union Business, Convention, conferences and seminars. This is rich, since they have no problem giving their higher-ups time off to attend negotiations meetings.
On day 2 of bargaining, both parties maintained their positions on articles outstanding from the day before. Your negotiating team made it clear we are not accepting rollbacks of any kind – and the employer’s ingoing proposals are littered with them. Not only are we expecting a proposal to reduce your compensation (base wages and overtime), in-line with the UCP’s austerity agenda, but SAIT has also proposed language that would exclude the union from decisions about your own working conditions.
Workload, understaffing and overtime
We reminded SAIT that if they had not abolished nearly 300 staff over the past couple years, members like you would not have to work exorbitant overtime hours, sacrificing your wellness and work-life balance to pick up the slack that they caused. The employer created the problem, and now they’re going to make it worse by cutting your overtime protections instead of addressing the root of the workload concerns.
We also discussed hours of work, which is turning into a very contentious issue. We could never agree to SAIT’s proposal, which strips away all entitlements of the Monday to Friday work week.
Your negotiations team came to the bargaining table ready to negotiate and work with SAIT to achieve a fair agreement. The employer came to the table saying, it’s our way or the highway. Your team even agreed with the majority of one of their proposals, which made the article clearer and solved a real problem, but we were told we either had to agree to it all or leave the article status quo.
We are in for an intense round of negotiations; the Employer has not been reasonable with their ingoing proposals and the number of articles opened. We do not believe the majority of the Collective Agreement should be thrown out and amended to give the Employer “sole discretion” over your working conditions – you’re the experts on your work and your needs, and you should have your say!
We will continue to fight for the issues you raised as a top priority in the survey because we represent you – the frontlines who keep SAIT running. We are scheduled to meet again with the Employer for full days of bargaining on July 16 and 20. Please stay posted for an update, and in the meantime, if you have any questions, or would like to provide any feedback, please contact one of the members of the negotiating team, and we will be happy to respond.
SAIT Negotiations Team Members
Rose Read - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Wood - email@example.com
Gerson Charmell - firstname.lastname@example.org
AUPE Staff Resources
Negotiator: Christian Tetrault, email@example.com
Organizer: Darcy Thiessen, firstname.lastname@example.org