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 Agreement Reached, Whats Next??

Reaching a tentative agreement always generates lots of discussion and questions. Here are some of the most common questions and answers:

 Will the agreement be distributed or available on the website?

        We do not make the memorandum available prior to the ratification meetings. It has been our experience that many members who have the opportunity to see the settlement early do not attend the meetings. We also want the explanation on the changes to come from the Union officials who negotiated them. Some of the changes are quite complex and we don’t want members to try and guess what the change means.

How did we reach an agreement so fast?

         As we pointed out in earlier postings, the Company asked us to begin negotiations early. We welcomed the opportunity to try and reach an agreement earlier, provided it made sense. Previous negotiations have gone well past the expiration date and were frustrating for all involved. It became clear once we got into the discussions that the Company was there to bargain seriously and get a deal. We think the voting of the members into the National Defence Fund also had a major impact in their approach at the table. Clearly, meeting for 10 solid days helped us gain momentum as opposed to meeting for a couple of days and then not seeing each other for weeks at a time. Ultimately we reached a deal both the retail and warehouse committees unanimously recommended.

 Why not wait and take a strike vote? Didn’t a UFCW Local in Ontario just take a strike vote with Loblaw?

         Local Unions and committees make the decision to take strike votes because they feel the negotiations have stalled or that the current position of the Company is unreasonable. We made it clear to the Company early on that we would walk away from the process and wait until closer to expiration if we felt we were going in the wrong direction. We also believe that many positive elements of the settlement would not be there if we waited and started from scratch in July or August. We believe the time line assisted us.
        The collective agreements and issues our sister Locals in Ontario have in their bargaining are different from us and we support them in their quest for a fair settlement.

 When will the ratification votes be held?

         We are currently working on finalizing the voting locations and times. We expect to be able to have a link on the website for all the meetings and postings up in the stores by later this week. The meetings will begin June 1st and take approximately two weeks to complete.

 I just received a letter from the Pension Pan (CCWIPP) telling me the Plan is changing. Will we be talking about that?

         Changes to the Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan (CCWIPP) have now been announced by the Board of Trustees. The changes will take effect July 1, 2015. These changes are significant and will affect you as well as all other CCWIPP members (active, inactive, and retired). These changes have been approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). We will be discussing those changes, including the self-contributions many of you will be asked to make. The contribution levels form part of the Memorandum but were dictated by the Trustees and the Master Agreement.


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