Critical Update: With Lockdown Looming, Employer Refuses to Bargain

On July 3rd, the Employer declared that they refuse to continue bargaining after July 4th, unless the CUPE 3903 Bargaining Team agrees to send a deal we have not seen to ratification before July 16th. On July 4th, the Employer sent the BT a letter, stating that if the Union does not agree to their ultimatum, they would only be willing to meet after the Strike Mandate Vote is concluded, despite the fact that we indicated that we are available and willing to continue bargaining without any interruptions, as early as July 6th.

This move further reinforces why every member needs to vote YES in the Strike Mandate Vote starting from July 5th to 9th. The Employer is clearly awaiting the results of the Strike Mandate Vote before presenting their best offer.

This declaration comes in the context of a long weekend of intensive bargaining — from June 30th to July 4th — under the Employer’s looming threat of a lockout. Significant movement towards a settlement happened during these days, which further highlights that any impasse is manufactured by the Employer.

The Bargaining Team for CUPE 3903 Units 1, 2, and 3 is pushing back so that a negotiated deal can be reached without a lockout. The Bargaining Team is committed to reaching a negotiated settlement and will gladly recommend the Employer’s better offer for ratification if it is sufficient. But sending an offer to ratification without having seen it would be an abdication of the Bargaining Team’s responsibility to negotiate the best possible collective agreements for all members. 

There is a deal that is possible. The Employer has said so, and has admitted to withholding this deal while awaiting the strike mandate vote results. This clearly indicates our next steps. Vote YES in the Strike Mandate Vote; a strong mandate will force the Employer to stop bargaining in bad faith and to present their best offer.