Negotiating Committee Letter

Dear Sisters/Brothers,

Due to many inaccurate comments circulating on Social Media your Negotiating Committee feels compelled to comment because we cannot control what is said in that forum. It seems every round of negotiations there is a concerted effort from those who think their opinion is fact (when it is not), and who try to force that opinion on others. One thing is for sure; every Member will have an opinion which they should use to decide if the Memorandum of Settlement meets their needs.

The Negotiating Committee sat across the table from the City’s Committee and knows the intent of every clause agreed to. Some opinions would say intent is irrelevant, but we know if forced to arbitration on an interpretation issue, intent is a meaningful factor. This why we keep negotiating notes from all of our meetings.

Should Management interpret contract clauses other than the way they are intended, Local 583 would file a grievance. One of the reasons we have the grievance procedure is to settle interpretation issues. We would argue the intent of the discussion at negotiations from the notes which were kept.

As an example, harassment is harassment, period. It can take many forms, it is not always between two people. Removing the employee vs others in the Memorandum of Settlement only serves to broaden the scope of harassment, not limit it.

The Negotiating Committee feels this is a Memorandum of Settlement for the day. We met with the City over 30 times counting on the Calgary economy to improve and it hasn’t. While wages are not keeping up to inflation, the City has no funding for them. All of the other City Unions have settled for this wage and term package presented to us. We have also, in our opinion, made language and working condition gains in every work area.

Please review the Memorandum of Settlement, make your decision and vote with your own opinion on ratification day, Thursday August 15, 2019 at a location convenient to you.

In Solidarity from your Negotiating Team,

Rick Ratcliff, Neil McKinnon, Zul Vira, Bill Johnson, Harvey Woo, Ryan Todd.

COPE 397 RR/jr

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