Your bargaining committee met with your employer in mediated bargaining on September 29, 2020. Your employer reiterated that it has no monetary moves left to make. Further, with government in caretaker mode due to the election, your employer's position in bargaining is effectively frozen until a new government is sworn in. In other words, there is no possibility of your employer changing its position in bargaining until approximately mid‑November.
(To be clear, your employer has not told us to expect its bargaining position to change under a new government. Instead, the message was only that it is not presently possible for your employer to change its bargaining position. You should not take this to mean a change in your employer's position is coming.)
The parties reviewed the bargaining process to date to bring your new committee members entirely up to speed. The parties also discussed several issues of importance to members, including a classification and compensation review, working from home and a trial modified work week schedule. Your bargaining committee meets next on October 13, 2020 and the parties will likely meet again after that to continue these discussions.
Strike Prep Update
Strike preparations are continuing and will now take the effective freeze in your employer's bargaining position into account. We recognize the unease that some members may experience from not knowing detailed strike plans. Beyond needing to adjust to the new realities created by the election, your strike coordinating committee (SCC) must strike a balance between keeping you as involved and informed as possible without telegraphing its plans to your employer.
Addressing the issues of essential services, picketing safety and pandemic-specific health and strike pay remain areas of focus for your SCC.
We continue to be mindful of the strike mandate that will expire if not actioned on or before November 30, 2020.
We are providing this strike pay information in response to questions members continue to ask.
As previously announced in bulletins and meetings, the BCGEU Provincial Executive has authorized target pay for a strike at BCFMA. This means a higher rate of strike pay and is the highest strike pay presently provided to BCGEU members. While regular base strike pay is $375 per week, target strike pay for this dispute has been set at a maximum of $100 per day or $500 per week or 70% of regular gross earnings, whichever is less.
For example, let's say a member's regular gross daily earnings are $200. 70% of $200 is $140. This member would therefore be eligible for the maximum daily strike pay of $100.
For another example, let's say a member's regular gross daily earnings are $135. 70% of $135 is $94.50. This member would therefore be eligible for daily strike pay of $94.50.
Members will be required to perform assigned strike duties-usually picketing-to be eligible for strike pay. The specifics of these duties, including daily/weekly hours, will be set by your SCC.
For those receiving less than $100 per day, dependent pay of $15 per day per dependent will be provided up to the $100 maximum. For purposes of this policy, a dependent is someone who meets the Canada Revenue Agency's definition of "dependent" and is claimed by you as a dependent on your income tax return.
As we mentioned in recent bulletins, we are working on internal organizing strategies so your bargaining committee can engage more directly with all of you. You can expect to hear more from us soon. In the meantime, please forward your questions and comments to BCFMAbargaining@gmail.com.
Kelvin Kum, Bargaining Committee Member (Victoria)
Brian Moore, Bargaining Committee Member (Burnaby)
Sherri Sebastian, Bargaining Committee Member (Kamloops)
Ryan Stewart, Staff Representative - Negotiations
Download PDF of notice here
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