Continuing the monthly updates from the Chief Shop Steward portfolio, we want to highlight five topics: Vaccination Policy Terminations, Banked Stat Settlement, Master Operator ULP, New CBAs, and the Law Committee.
Vaccination Policy Terminations - Recently, we had two members terminated due to not following the Company's temporary Vaccination Policy. The two members received progressive discipline leading up to their subsequent terminations. Given the current state of covid, and the looming cancellation of the Company's temporary Vaccination Policy, termination is a heavy-handed approach. Adherence to policies is important, but we see numerous other progressive employers taking a balanced approach in similar situations by effectively suspending non-compliant employees without pay pending the lifting of the testing/proof restrictions in workplaces. The Union believes that employees must follow Company policies that meet the KVP test, but the discipline must be measured and reasonable given the circumstances.
Banked Stat Settlement - This issue first came to light during the 2019 B Holiday Block when the Company separated Banked Stat holiday hours from Regular Vacation Hours despite clear language in LOU 21. This continued in 2020 and 2021. The lack of an adequately staffed Relief Pool across the Process Department exasperated the issue as the Company also refused to cover any holiday requests that used Banked Stat hours with overtime (which is language that is exclusive to the Banked OT provisions in LOU 21). We are happy to report that the Company and the Union have come to a grievance settlement in which Banked Stats will be treated as they were before and overtime will be offered to cover those vacation requests. Both sides also made a commitment to discuss the issue more during the next bargaining period in 2026, although that doesn't mean changes to the language will be negotiated.
Master Operator/Rover ULP - The recently amended Unfair Labour Practice (ULP) application against the Company for bad faith bargaining resumed on February 16th & 17th via WebEx. The Company continued to present their defence as its witnesses presented evidence to the Labour Relations Board panel. The hearing did not conclude as the Company intends to call one or two more witnesses when we resume on April 27th, 28th, and 29th. It's very hard to judge if more dates will be required or if we can finish in the next three-day block. Regardless, the interim order remains in place, preventing any bumping/displacement or layoffs, until a decision in the ULP is rendered.
New CBA books - The new collective agreement books have arrived! Additionally, a digital version can be accessed through the portal on the Labour Relations site. If you would like a hard copy please talk to your steward. Noticeable changes: the snazzy purple cover, and the fact the agreement & LOUs are in one handy book. Also, in LOU 56 - Job Security you will notice the brackets around the severance calculation are in their rightful place. The calculation itself remains in dispute with the Company and will be resolved through the grievance process.
Law Committee Meeting - The Committee will be meeting on March 16th at the Union Hall to review developments in case law, research current and future grievances, build bargaining proposals, and update 594's Shop Steward training course. If you are interested in the grievance process and would like to join our Committee please reach out at email@example.com
And a special thanks to Nathan, Chuck, Kurt and all the stewards that took on an increased workload during my absence. Very much appreciated.