What has happened at the bargaining table? Where are we today?

After 18 bargaining sessions held between September 7 and December 19, the Union applied to the province for appointment of a neutral third-party conciliator to help the two sides reach an agreement. The conciliator met with both sides three times, on January 28, 30 and February 6. At the end of the meeting on February 6, FUNSCAD asked the conciliator to report to the provincial Minister of Labour and Advanced Education that the parties had reached an impasse. The conciliator made her report on February 7. Her report begins a 14-day “cooling-off period” during which there can be neither a legal strike nor a legal lockout.

What happens next?

The conciliator has asked the parties to meet with her on February 19. The legal strike/lockout position begins on February 20. After that point, with 48 hours notice, we can begin a strike or the administration can lock us out.

Does that mean we will go on strike or be locked out on February 20?

Not necessarily. The end of the cooling-off period puts us in a legal strike position. It doesn’t require us to go on strike on that date. We are continuing to work hard to get a fair deal without a strike or a lockout, but we can’t do it alone; we need the employer to travel some distance to meet us. So far, they have not responded with serious proposals on the issues you told us were the most important to you. We will fill you in on the details at the General Meeting, which is scheduled for next Wednesday evening, 13 February at 6 PM. We are committed to keeping you informed of developments at the table. If we need to set a strike deadline, you will know about it well in advance.

What about the TECHS?

FUNSCAD Unit II is separate bargaining unit and assuming we have a contract or are still negotiating during a strike action we are expected to continue to work. The choice to not cross a picket line is individual and at this point we are looking into the extent of punitive action the employer can take if a unit 2 member chose to not cross a picket line.