LATEST BARGAINING NEWS
Members of Teranet - Locals 397 and 399 ratified a new four-year collective agreement on November 17, 2023.
Highlights of the new agreement include wage increases from 12% to 14% (with a new 25-year long service step on top of the existing 20-year long service step) over the course of the agreement, and an increase to the Health Spending Account.
Overview of Bargaining So Far
The Teranet - Locals 397 and 399 Bargaining Committee began negotiations with the employer re: non-monetary items like contract language and working conditions on June 23, 2022 and continued on June 24, 27, 28 and 29, 2022.
With non-monetary discussions concluded, bargaining dates to discuss monetary proposals, such as wages and benefits, were scheduled for August 17, 18 and 19, 2022.
However, it was clear after the first day of talks that the employer’s funding mandate was not adequate to meet the Committee's request for reasonable general wage increases. In the end, both parties decided there was no point in continuing until the employer sought a more appropriate funding mandate from the Board of Directors.
The Bargaining Committee received a settlement offer from the employer on October 27, 2022 and organized a ratification vote for November 9, 2022, with a recommendation of "rejection." Local 397/399 members responded by voting overwhelmingly to reject the offer.
Then the Bargaining Committee submitted a counter-proposal and met with the employer on December 6, 9, and 16 to continue to advocate for the membership and seek fair and reasonable wage increases.
Unfortunately, the employer would not change their position in any meaningful way from the settlement position that was overwhelmingly rejected by Local 397 and 399 members in November.
The Committee returned to the table with the employer on April 27 and reached a tentative agreement with the employer on Friday, April 28, 2023, which members voted to reject on May 31, 2023.
In June, a strike vote was called with the membership and members responded by providing a strong strike mandate.
With the strike mandate in hand, the Committee returned to the bargaining table and presented the employer with a comprehensive wage proposal package during the week of July 17. However, the employer did not provide a substantive response and on July 20, 2023 the Committee provided the employer with formal notice to commence strike action as of 7:00 am on Friday, July 21.
The first job action was the immediate cessation of overtime, to be followed by other potential actions as deemed necessary.
After serving the employer with strike action notice on July 20, beginning with the refusal by members to work overtime, the Local 397 / 399 Bargaining Committee held an online strike information session on Thursday, July 27 to speak with members about escalating job action.
As a next step to encourage the employer to provide a reasonable offer, all Assistant District Registrars (ADRs) and Senior Paralegals began withholding services and joined the picket line on Monday, July 31, 2023.
On Friday, August 11 the Locals with the targeted strike, which included ADRs, Senior Paralegals, and DEX group continued walking the picket line at 200 Graham, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m (a five-hour shift to accommodate for the short week). But all Land Title Clerks who work in the Client Services Team (CST) also joined them. This totalled about half of the entire bargaining unit walking the picket line.
The Bargaining Committee returned to the table with the employer on Friday, August 18, 2023.
On August 21, 2023, the Teranet Bargaining Committee and the employer mutually agreed to the appointment of a mediator.
Despite considerable efforts while working with a mediator, the Teranet Bargaining Committe was unable to reach an agreement with the employer.
On September 20, 2023, the Committee sent a request to the Manitoba Labour Board to settle the provisions of the collective agreement.
On September 25, 2023, the Manitoba Labour Board ordered the termination of the Teranet - Locals 397 and 399 strike.
On September 25, 2023, the Labour Board approved the MGEU’s request for the Board to settle the provisions of the renewed collective agreement, formally ending the strike.
In the coming weeks, the Board will set deadlines for the exchange of written submissions and, later, reply submissions. These written submissions are the union's primary opportunity to advise the Board of agreed upon changes to the collective agreement, to make the case on outstanding issues not resolved in negotiations, and to respond to the employer’s proposals.
The Bargaining Committee is now working on preparing our written submissions.
The Board will also set a mandatory mediation date, at which time a Labour Board Staff Officer will seek to assist our Bargaining Committee and the employer in potentially resolving outstanding issues prior to the matter proceeding to formal hearing. The mediation date will be scheduled by the Board in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the Board has tentatively scheduled December 7 - 8, 2023 as the formal hearing dates. The formal hearing is an opportunity for the parties to argue their positions and elaborate on their written submissions previously filed.
The Board is statutorily obligated to determine outstanding provisions within 90 days of approving MGEU’s application. This means that the Board will have to release its decision within approximately two weeks following the hearing in early December.
The new collective agreement will include: all existing provisions that neither party proposed changes to in negotiations; any agreed upon items negotiated between the parties while in negotiations; and those provisions that remain outstanding and which the Board makes determinations on.
The new collective agreement will run from the expiration of the previous collective agreement until a period of six months following the date on which the Board makes its decision.
MGEU has retained experienced labour lawyers as representatives in the arbitration process.
The Teranet Bargaining Committee reached a tentative agreement with the employer on November 14, 2023.
An information session was held via Webinar on Thursday, November 16, 2023.
The Bargaining Committee recommended acceptance of the agreement.