Negotiate to Settle / Prepare to Strike

NEGOTIATE TO SETTLE

PROVINCIAL/LOCAL BARGAINING UPDATE:

Your CUPE Provincial Bargaining Committee has been in meetings with the Council of Trustees Associations and the Ministry of Education over the last several months.  Some positive work has been accomplished but we are far from reaching a province wide agreement.  Until such time, the content of the discussions at the “Central Table” is confidential and subject to media blackout.  Local bargaining with the H.W.D.S.B. will begin once the Central Table has reached an agreement on “central” issues.

PREPARE TO STRIKE

STRIKE VOTE:

All CUPE school board Locals across Ontario will be holding strike votes in the coming weeks.

A STRIKE VOTE DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE GOING ON STRIKE!
A “Yes” vote gives your Negotiating Committee more leverage in bargaining to resolve outstanding issues with the Ministry and Trustees Association, and locally with the employer.  These votes have also been carried out by Secondary and Elementary teachers province wide with a resounding 95% vote in favour!

WHAT IS A STRIKE VOTE?
At any point in the bargaining process, a strike vote can be called, but usually it is called when the Union needs support from the membership to move things along at the bargaining table.  A strong “YES” vote authorizes the Union Executive Committee to call a strike if further negotiations do not produce an agreement acceptable to the members.  It allows for your negotiating committee to go back to the table with a strong mandate to seek a better contract.  If the Ministry, Trustees or employer fail to move in a direction acceptable to your negotiating committee, CUPE can take JOB ACTION including but not necessarily strike action.

IS A STRIKE INEVITABLE WITH A “YES” VOTE?
Historically, the stronger the “YES” vote, the less likely it is that a strike is necessary because it sends a message to the other side that we are united in our resolve to obtain the best possible contract.  Strike votes sound alarming but are not unusual.  CUPE School Board Locals across the province voted “YES” in our last round of provincial bargaining but there was no strike.

WHAT PERCENTAGE DO WE NEED FOR A STRIKE MANDATE?
Minimally, 50% plus one vote from those in attendance…but such a low mandate, or a “NO” vote would show the other side that the Union members are not willing to take action to secure their demands.  A low mandate or a “NO” vote would considerably impair CUPE’s Provincial Bargaining Committee and would damage your chances of negotiating a good collective agreement.

WHEN AND WHERE WILL A STRIKE VOTE HAPPEN?
Official notice of a “Special Membership Meeting” will be posted on our web site and flyers will be sent out within the next couple of weeks.

On behalf of your Provincial and Local Bargaining Committees…

In Solidarity,
Arch Walker
President