CUPE met with the mediator, Mr. Arne Peltz, on May 24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th. An additional day for mediation was added on June 1st. Mediation will continue June 20 – 23, 2022.
CUPE continued to meet with the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) to finalize negotiation of the Letters of Understanding and any changes to the pension and benefits articles on May 4th, 11th, and 18th. These discussions include home care/community programs being “brought up” to the same level as the rest of the health care support sector. The next regular bargaining dates are June 8th and 15th.
The first week of mediation was successful. We were able to agree to more contract language provisions and some monetary items including some language on overtime and pick-up shifts/additional hours, overtime banks, standby/callback language, sick time (income protection), mileage/transportation allowance and salary increments for casual employees.
The first few days of mediation were spent explaining our positions and proposals to the mediator. CUPE highlighted our priorities that were left on the table which included overtime, pick-up shifts, vacation, pensions and benefits for everyone, seniority, job security and improvements for home care workers as noted above. The Bargaining Council spent long days working very hard to resolve the language and monetary proposals we tabled.
The mediation process can be slow. It takes longer for each side to explain their position to the mediator. The mediator then goes back and forth sharing his thoughts and the other side’s issues. CUPE and the PHLRS do not communicate directly with each other during the mediation process, but rather through Mr. Peltz.
The outstanding language is about vacation (single days vs. blocks), union representation at meetings, how STAT days will be taken, seniority for job vacancies, sick time on pick-up shifts, training and education funding, uniforms/safety shoes, bumping, benefits and monetary matters including shift premiums.
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