Negotiating team recommends ratification
In bargaining meetings on Dec. 13 and 14 with Strathcona County, your negotiating committee reached a tentative agreement which members will vote on in the New Year.
In addition to the summary below, you can access the entire Tentative Agreement here at the end of this article.
The vote will take place at work over three voting times on Jan. 16 and 18:
- Sunday, Jan. 16: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.;
- Tuesday, Jan. 18: 6:30 a.m. – 8 a.m.; and
- Tuesday, Jan. 18: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
The week before the vote, members are encouraged to attend a virtual Question and Answer meeting to understand what the vote means:
Sunday, Jan. 9: 6 p.m.
Meeting ID: 947 2018 4095
Monday, Jan. 10: 6 p.m.
Meeting ID: 928 7273 4552
Please mark your calendar with these important dates and plan to attend to make sure you are informed and have your say.
Tentative agreement summary
Provisions for Temporary Employees As noted in the last bargaining update (which can be downloaded at the end of this article), access to benefits for temporary employees, as well as creating a pathway to permanent employees, has long been a priority in negotiations. This agreement will allow temporary employees to participate in the benefit plan if they choose starting March 1, 2022. The benefit plan is the same as for regular county employees, with the exception of long-term disability coverage.
This agreement also provides for recognition of past seniority for temporary employees, provided there has not been a break in employment of six months or more. This will mean that temporary staff, some of whom have been working for the County for many years, will have their service recognized when it comes to applying for permanent positions.
These changes represent an important step forward in solidifying the collective power of our bargaining unit, which has long been hampered by the precarious status of a significant portion of our membership.
This agreement brings in a new classifications structure for several positions including Labourers, Equipment Operators, Truck Drivers, and Utilities Operators, as well as corresponding changes in the Schedule B equipment listing. While these changes will be neutral or positive, such as listing graders in the Equipment Operator III vs. II classification, the downgrading of the Sidewalk Machine/Skid Steer to Equipment Operator I is a decrease we struggled to contend with.
As a result, we placed an emphasis on improving the rates of pay for that classification as much as possible, and were also able to increase the rates for the new combined Public Works Labourer classification.
This agreement finalizes the changes to Utility Operator classifications and Direct Responsible Pay which we outlined in the last update (which can be downloaded at the end of this article).
Wage increases and effective dates are as follows:
- Jan. 1, 2020: 1% lump sum
- Jan. 1, 2021: 1% lump sum
- Jan. 1, 2022: 1%
- Feb. 1, 2022: New compensation structure and pay grid and increased shift and weekend premium ($1.90)
- Jan. 1, 2023: 1.5%
The County would continue to recognize Truth and Reconciliation Day as a paid holiday. However, there would no longer be a benefit for employees unable to be scheduled for five consecutive days off around Christmas.
The County will only request proof of illness through Disability Management (not supervisors) and will provide a reason when doing so. They also confirmed that it is not generally County policy to request proof of illness for influenza like illness and/or other instances when employees would not seek medical attention except to secure proof of illness.
As mentioned above, the tentative agreement will be discussed in more detail and all members will have the opportunity to ask questions at the virtual meetings the week before the vote.
For more information, please contact your committee or AUPE resource staff.
Your Strathcona County Negotiating Team:
Derek Probst: email@example.com
Curtis Hopkins: 780-863-6811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynda Hajas: 780-668-3527 or email@example.com
Darcy Hajas: 780-803-2170 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AUPE resource staff:
Merryn Edwards, Negotiator: email@example.com
Tracy Noble Organizer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Milton Communications: email@example.com