Negotiations Update – May 29th, 2023

We want to take a moment to provide you with an update on negotiations.

Although we are not able to provide a lot of specific details at this point we do believe we are getting close to reaching a memorandum.

A couple reasons for this are there are only a few major items we still need to discuss and then we need to come to terms on wages.

Another reason for optimism: the city has advised us verbally, that the major takeaways that they wanted in the collective agreement such as: reducing overtime rates to time and a half for all areas that are currently double time, increasing the hours form 7.5 hours to 8 before OT applies, two tier wage systems and wage rollbacks as well as reducing the daily guarantee for operators, will be removed from their proposals in an effort to reach a memorandum.

We will note as well that with the city dropping those proposals, some of those things that are still critical to us may be addressed equally as effectively in the next round of negotiations. Which would be late this fall if we are to reach a memorandum prior to that time.

We do believe that when we start exchanging memorandums, which is the stage in negotiations where you are getting very close to either reaching a deal or reaching impasse, that things will move relatively quickly, at least in the world of negotiations.

One of the most common questions we still have is ‘will I be able to retire and still get my vacation match that the city promised when I started working here?’ If there is no language in the memorandum that addresses the vacation match guarantee, then we have confirmed that as long as you have submitted your intent to retire and are not actively performing your duties on the job you will be eligible for the vacation match. An example of this is: if we were voting on a memorandum on June 30th, 2023 and you submitted your intent to retire for June 25th, 2023 you would qualify for the current vacation match as long as you were not actively working on June 30th even if you had vacation leave and vacation match that took you into July, August or anytime beyond. Under this same scenario anyone submitting their intent to retire on June 30th or later would not qualify if that benefit is gone.

Of course, the other most common concern is ‘will wage increases be retroactive?’ We will maintain the position that all wage increases will date back to the date of implementation for all employees for all hours worked for each of those wage increments as well as those that have already chosen to retire.

In Solidarity,
Mike Mahar
President/Business Agent
ATU Local 583

COPE 397 MM/jw

Leave a Reply