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Many locals to negotiate collective agreements in 2019

Many locals, representing the vast majority of Society members, will be negotiating new collective agreements this year.

While the Hydro One and Bruce Power Locals are at the bargaining table now, after a series of recent arbitrators’ decisions to award one-year collective agreement terms at Ontario Power Generation, New Horizon and Inergi, OPG and New Horizon will be back at the table at some point this year. The Ontario Energy Board Local is preparing to start its next round of negotiations, having recently reached consensus among its members on their top five bargaining priorities.

Meanwhile, negotiations on how to integrate members of the Society’s Amec NSS bargaining unit into the Kinectrics bargaining unit after the latter company acquired the former are ongoing with Kinectrics management. Without an agreement the parties will enter an arbitration process to resolve outstanding issues.

The Society’s three newest locals will also enter negotiations in 2019 for their first collective agreements. The three locals are Toronto Hydro IT Professionals, National Judicial Institute, and the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic.

Following an attempt at two-party negotiation, the IESO Local has entered mediation with the management. The parties will meet with the assistance of a mediator on February 25. If mediation does not produce an agreement they will proceed to arbitration. Should it come to arbitration, Local Vice President Martin Hastings informed members that he believes the decision would be handed down in April.

The two active negotiations at Hydro One and Bruce Power are both in their early stages. At Hydro One, the parties recently finished exchanging bargaining agendas, while at Bruce Power that process is still ongoing. As Bruce Power Local Vice President Mike Gade has informed members, the agenda exchange has been lengthy as management is seeking extraordinary concessions in almost every significant area the current collective agreement covers, including pension, benefits and job security. Exchanging agendas is the way both union and management sides indicate what issues they would like to table in the negotiation. Society bargaining units develop their agendas in a democratic process that is informed by member feedback and subsequently voted on by members.