Bargaining Survey : Wages and Benefits

Welcome back to September, everyone!

Those of you who were able to attend the June General Meeting heard the overview of the survey results and now the summer break is over, we wanted to inform those of you who were unable to attend that meeting.

Thank you to everyone who took the bargaining survey — we had a high rate of return, and lots of thought went into the responses and comments. Your feedback has been taken into account by the negotiating team who are focusing on three key areas:

  • Wages and Benefits
  • Job Security/Cuts and Workload
  • Job Evaluation language and process

We aren’t going to overload you with all of the survey results at once; expect more updates in coming weeks. For now, we want to start with the Wages and Benefits issues.

The top response in the “is there anything we missed” section at the end of the survey was, “Yeah! What about money?” Many also the cited cost of living and inflation in the region, and that our wages have long fallen behind those markers.

The negotiating team knew there was no way zeroes and ones were going to be acceptable, and that we would be looking at other public sector settlements from the past year. Typically, those settlements are 5 year contracts with 5.5% wage increase over the 5 year term. Many of these agreements also had significant economic increases and improvements in non-wage areas of their contracts.

The negotiating team is pursuing at least what other public sector unions have signed. The survey has helped to prioritize our non-wage improvements through your feedback.

In the benefits section, we heard overwhelmingly (nearly 90% of respondents!) that you want a direct pay card for prescriptions covered under your Extended Health plan — as long as that benefit did not mean a reduction of the wage offer. Beyond that, you told us that improvements to vision care coverage were the top priority, followed by improvements to massage therapy, physiotherapy, and other paramedicals.

Updates on the other survey results will follow in the coming weeks, and there will be more information at the September 24 General Meeting.

This update, along with all future updates, will be added to the website and tagged “bargaining2014” and you’ll be able to find a link to those updates on the Collective Bargaining page. Feedback can be forwarded to any member of the negotiating committee.