The pre-negotiations regional conferences are underway across the country and discussions are moving along. The resolutions adopted at these conferences will be forwarded to the national office for consideration by the committee responsible for preparing demands, which will be meeting in August. The program of demands will then be adopted by the National Executive Board and submitted to members in a referendum that will take place in early fall.
At its last meeting, the National Executive Board selected the members of the Negotiating Committee. Our national constitution provides as follows regarding the composition of this Committee:
“6.11 The National Executive Board shall appoint such members of the Negotiating Committee, taking into account criteria with regard to experience in preparation, hearing and arbitration of grievances and experience relating to any other matter regarding the negotiation of a collective agreement. The Negotiating Committee must be composed of at least one woman, one francophone and one anglophone.”
The sisters and brothers who were chosen meet these criteria:
Sister Cathy Kennedy is the National Union Representative assigned to grievances. She has worked at every level of the union and has been in the national union’s grievance department since 2005. This will be her fifth time as a member of the Negotiating Committee. She knows the workings of arbitration and is keenly aware of problems faced by members on the work floor.
Sister Sharon Samuels is a member of the London Local. This will be her first time on the Committee. As a chief steward, she has dealt with every type of situation that can occur on the work floor. She has experience preparing and pleading cases at arbitration. She also sits on the National Human Rights Committee.
Brother Stephen Gale is President of the Fraser Valley West Local. This will be his second time on the Committee. He has union experience covering every aspect of members’ work, as well as a thorough knowledge of the duties performed by the various groups composing the Urban Operations Unit, including the Group 2 work measurement systems. Brother Gale has also prepared and pleaded cases at arbitration.
Brother Philippe Arbour, from the Outaouais Québécois Local, has been directly involved in many rounds of negotiations, either as Chief Negotiator or as National Grievance Officer. His historical expertise in arbitration matters will be a valuable asset to the Committee.
These four members will join Peter Denley, National Grievance Officer, and Sylvain Lapointe, Chief Negotiator, as members of the Negotiating Committee for the Urban Operations Negotiating Committee.
The Board also decided to appoint Sister Anna Beale, President of the Calgary Local, as Technical Assistant to the Committee.
We all know how important these negotiations will be. To effectively prepare for this round, we not only need to get involved in the debates, but also in the political struggle to protect the postal service. That means getting involved in the Save Canada Post campaign, and the coming federal elections to get rid of the Harper government.
The struggle continues.