Now that we have tentative collective agreements that have been recommended by the majority of the National Executive Board (NEB), what are the next steps?
The Negotiating Committee, the national and regional offices, and the locals will be working hard to get all the details of the tentative collective agreements out to all our members as soon as possible. There will be many bulletins, a tabloid and copies of the draft collective agreements. There will be a lot of information but that is necessary so that every member can make an informed decision when it comes time to vote.
The National Executive Board will determine the dates when the ratification votes will occur. The votes will occur over a period of five or six weeks. Once the NEB announces the dates, each Local will have to schedule meetings within this period so that all their members in each of the two bargaining units have the opportunity to vote on their respective tentative collective agreements. There will be representatives from either the national or regional offices or the Negotiating Committee at all of these meetings to make presentations and answer questions. Every member has a difficult decision to make and one question you must ask yourself is: can we do better if we vote no and go on strike?
Once the ratification votes are all completed, the results will be compiled and they will be released. There are three possible outcomes to the votes:
If both agreements are ratified (accepted), then they will be officially signed within 15 days of the results of the votes being released and the new provisions will take effect.
If both agreements are not ratified (rejected), then the negotiations will continue but will most likely start from square one. This means that all of our demands are back on the table and that all of Canada Post’s rollbacks are back on the table.
If one agreement is ratified and the other is not then one bargaining unit will be working under a new collective agreement and the other will be back at the negotiating table starting this process over.
If either one or both tentative collective agreements are rejected by the membership, then we will have to do a new strike vote so that we have the ability to negotiate with Canada Post on equal grounds. The NEB will decide if we will do a strike vote at the same time as the ratification votes (in case one or both tentative agreements are not ratified) or if we will wait for the results of the ratification votes before deciding to hold a new strike vote.
If we reject one or both of these tentative agreements, then everything that has been agreed to between the parties is off the table. The only exception to this is the pay equity review memorandum of understanding. This issue has been removed from the negotiations process, and this review will continue no matter what happens with the ratification votes.