News From the Northern Negotiation Tables P3 & P4
Negotiations in the North are following the same pattern as those held in the South over the last few weeks. We met with the employer at the Cree table (P3) on May 1, 2020 and at the Kativik table (P4) on April 28, 2020.
During these two meetings we presented and explained some important union demands. Following these two meetings, the employer suspended negotiations pending a return to the central table. While no meetings have taken place at the Cree table since then (P3), two meetings were held at the Kativik table (P4) on May 26 and June 2. Coordinated sectoral negotiations were resumed last week.
At the Kativik meeting on May 26, we tabled a pared-down submission in which nine demands had been withdrawn. The employer told us that this exercise was insufficient and that it was seen as a step backwards from the blitz at the end of March. They are of the opinion that we cannot sustain bargaining at a steady pace and reach an agreement quickly when there are so many demands remaining. They said they did not know if they had the power to reply to our union demands given the circumstances. At the next meeting, on June 2, the employer finally gave us a reply regarding the union’s demands and indicated which ones were received with a certain level of openness. The meeting was constructive, and we had good discussions regarding several union demands. However, we only discussed demands that had no monetary impact.
It is clear that the employer side wants to reach an agreement quickly but, in order to do so, we must discuss and have constructive exchanges. For the moment, we have not quite reached that type of dynamic. We want the negotiations to be resumed at a sustained pace and we have demonstrated our willingness to do so.