Earlier we announced the results of our ratification vote and we are pleased to report that the new collective agreement has passed, with 58 % voting in favor of the adoption of the contract. The contract we concluded with wasn’t all that we had worked for and had hoped for, but we assure you that every line item gained was as a result of a fierce battle, for literally every single thing.
We know that some of you spoke out in opposition to the proposed contract. Know that we heard you and understand that many of you felt that a no vote was a message to the Employer. We saw this with the voting results that showed that many of you felt this way. We honour why you feel the way you do. The Employer entered into negotiations with a resistance towards all of the items in our proposal that was created by your input and feedback about what was important to you. We recognize that many of you were disappointed with the final agreement, some identifying losses and some unable to see aspects that served themselves. So, we invite you to focus your anger, disappointment, creativity and ideas towards working along with us, to address issues consistently throughout the year. Making a difference doesn’t just happen at moments of voting, but happens with engagement and collaborating with colleagues.
For those who voted NO in order to send a message to the employer, there is another stronger message that we can send. Your energy, passion and desire is the energy we need in order to send this solid and meaningful message. We send this message by joining together and working as involved, engaged union members to hold the Employer to the language and intention of the contract. We send this message by advocating for our colleagues who are encountering difficulties with management behaviors. We send this message by improving working conditions and our workplace rights. This is ongoing work which we hope you will all see some way to be involved. Please come out to the upcoming AGM and other meetings going forward to partner with us, influence the process, and share your energy and ideas.
We, the bargaining committee and those who are working as stewards for you are exhausted and need you now more than ever. We negotiated this contract over the course of more than a year, in full days of virtual meetings with several of us working for you on our days off and vacation days. We, along with you, want to improve the conditions, supports, resources and rights under which we work so that we can all continue to do our important, good work, for communities.
Our contract expires in a little over 12 months, and we need you to be involved along with us in many ways:
- Come out to our meetings, town halls and virtual coffee hours that we will be organizing
- Join the executive, and have a say in the leadership and how the union gets work done
- Volunteer to be a steward, and actively help out protecting our rights
These are the best ways to be the change you want to see.
We know we have room for improvement in the contract and in working conditions for us all, but we cannot do this without you. We look forward to working together with you going forward.