Francophone table for the P1 Collective Agreement:
First Meeting at the Francophone Bargaining Table Since May 1st
While at the bargaining table for the francophone agreement (P1), our employer counterpart agreed to hold a meeting on Tuesday, June 2. This will be the first meeting after a month away from the bargaining table. As a reminder of where we find ourselves, the employer was unable to make headway on the four specific issues of salary, retirement, parental rights, and regional disparities. This meant that sectoral tables, such as ours, did not hold any meetings. As the latest coordinated initiatives of the various sectoral tables have finally shown progress, we are now able to resume talks.
However, this time away from the bargaining table did not mean that the union has taken time off. Within the Conseil fédéral de négociation, we have managed to prioritize the demands we feel are most important and which are most likely to be part of the final agreement. Demands including contributions to a professional order, an increase in the professional development budget and the recognition of master’s and doctoral studies are still at stake, as are several other demands, some of which do not entail a financial investment by the employer such as our demand to add job groups to the classification plan, obtaining a flexible word schedule with telecommuting, and standardizing the number of paid days off. Additionally, there is also still a series of adjustments, which we call “peripheral demands,” that are part of the rewording of certain clauses, including special leave in the event of death and maintaining benefits when changing employer.
We have established a meeting schedule for June and the employer has agreed to send us a list of its demands with more details. However, despite the many questions we have put to them, it remains impossible to ascertain their intentions. While it is true that the COVID-19 pandemic has not made our negotiations easy, rest assured that the bargaining committee remains focused on reaching a favourable settlement to improve our working conditions.