To our Local 125 Members,
We wanted to reach out to you to share some information and provide some direction and clarification around the CEC’s imposition of terms and conditions and the resulting work to rule.
This morning the CEC imposed their terms and conditions of work on faculty, sent to your Lambton email via Andrew Pearson.
To be able to react as necessary, the union team gave the 5-day notice (December 18th) required to initiate work-related actions. This does not imply that a strike will start in 5 days. This is only a formality to allow the implementation of measures if and when they become necessary.
For now, the terms imposed are not bad in themselves. The immediate problem is that the imposition of terms is a draconian measure that indicates a blatant lack of respect for the collective bargaining process, a right that is guaranteed to us by the Constitution of Canada. This is a direct insult to faculty members in the province. In addition, after today, the CEC has the right to change the terms imposed as they wish, as often as they want, and without restrictions on the terms they want to impose on us.
There is no reason why the existing collective agreement (or at least, that existed until yesterday) should not be maintained until a new agreement is reached. The CEC has the right to impose their will on us, and the CEC has used this right, the second it had access to it. Today is the first day when it was possible for the CEC to impose. The union team explicitly asked to keep the expired agreement at least until 3 January. The CEC said no.
Other than the items in the list, there is no mention that the other terms of the CA that existed until yesterday have changed. This does not mean anything, it can change tomorrow.
There is also no reason for the CEC not to have put their offer to the vote, if they really believed it was a good offer. Instead, they chose to impose their will on the members.
And the nice retroactive increase? It is very “generous” to include this in the imposition, but it would almost certainly be included in any agreement, no matter when and how it is concluded.
In conclusion? There is really nothing that changes today for members, except that we are now working under conditions imposed by the employer and not negotiated between the two parties. For now, it is really a matter of principle. Let’s hope it doesn’t go any further.
We will be sharing more information as it becomes available. The Executive team will host information and Q&A sessions early in the New Year.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to any of the local executive members.