Our bargaining team held three days of bargaining with SSO during the week of November 20. We focused on our key bargaining issues: hours of work, job security and term employment. We did this with the support of our members across the country.
We thank regional office interviewers who wore stickers in the workplace and to field interviewers who sent us their stickers to highlight these problems. We posted the stickers in our bargaining room and the employer’s team had an opportunity to see the real magnitude of job precarity faced by our members.
We tabled proposals which seek to resolve the challenges faced by our members due to the precarious working conditions maintained by SSO.
Our proposals include:
- Hours of work assigned by seniority: Seniority has long been recognized – in both the public and private sector – as the best way of ensuring hours are allocated in a fair and transparent manner. It shouldn’t depend on whether you are your supervisor’s favourite or whether you are a union activist. With seniority, everyone knows how hours are allocated and it is done objectively.
- Maximizing work for existing employees: It is critical for our income security that SSO maximize hours of work for existing employees before hiring new employees. Our employer shouldn’t hire more employees when existing staff are interested and available to work. Some of our members don’t even have enough hours to make ends meet. Meanwhile SSO continues to hire more people. It doesn’t make sense and it’s not fair.
- Limits to term employment: SSO hires most people as term employees. However, we know that term employees are not working for short periods. Most term employees have worked for SSO for many years, some as many as 15 years! Clearly this is not term employment. This is manufactured job insecurity.
The full proposals we tabled are attached.
We are pleased that during the week we came to agreement with SSO on some issues. We have expanded the definition of family, added gender identity and gender expression as grounds for protection against discrimination, improved bereavement leave, and maintained existing maternity and parental leave benefits.
We will be back at the bargaining table December 12 to 14. More updates to follow.