Michelle Lang Reports
I want to welcome all the new members to the council as well as welcoming back the members from the previous council.
I sent out emails to the Directly Chartered Locals within the Prairies for agenda items as well as a report of what is going on within their locals. To date I have not received a reply. If I receive anything I will provide a verbal update when we meet.
I currently am attending rallies to stop the cuts in and around Regina. Unifor and SGEU are the ones to usually host these events. I had the chance to speak at a Moose Jaw Rally on June 22, 2017. I want to connect with the Regina (and Area) Area Council about putting on a rally or a demonstration in front of a MLA Back Benchers office to make it know that their seat is in jeopardy and that we won’t back down until they either start listening to the public or get booted out of their seats.
Bargaining is happening I believe with some of the Universities as well as the Casino. It is going to be a tough battle but one that I refuse to back down from. They want to cut salaries do it to the top not your front line workers.
Not too much to report other than daily activities of the local. I ask that if any of my comrades on PRC know of any Rallies or Pickets to please let me know. If I can I will go out and support. I also ask that if there is a Rally for any type of privatization in any province that you go out and support as that hurts every single resident in the province.
I will sign off for now and hopefully can receive some information from the other DCL’s in the Prairies.
Well things are changing but I am not holding my breath!! Scott Moe has been elected by the SASKPARTY to be our new Premier. Same party same mandate is what I am thinking. But we will hold them accountable as always!! We also got new Rally signs to make up!! NO MONEY MOE PROBLEM!!
DCL 40005 is in bargaining at this time. They have been without a contract since December 31, 2016. Somethings have been agreed upon and others are still on the table. When we hit Monetary it is going to be rough. Elections for the President, Senior Vice President and VP of Guest Services are all coming up with in the next month.
Brandon University is holding a ratification vote in early February. Back in December Racist Posters appeared over the campus. The local addressed the issue of racism and that they and PSAC as a whole are against it. Sad that this is still around in this day. We had similar posters put up at University of Regina.
PSAC Local 40005
From November 2nd to 4th, 2018 members representing Directly Chartered Locals gathered together in Montreal. DCLs have been a part of PSAC for more than 20 years and represent over 30,000 members. Sectors represented included gaming, University workers, municipal government workers, Indigenous and community organizations, research and development workers and security and law enforcement.
Together we discussed strategies to build membership strength and to win better working conditions for the members. We discussed creative ways to bargain and mobilize that we have used to win better wages and working conditions.
Chris Aylward addressed the members, stressing the importance of listening and learning from each other and being open to change so that the Union can be stronger.
From March 25th to 27th. 2019 representatives of every bargaining unit of university workers took part in a university round table discussions in Ottawa. This was the first meeting of that kind to take place. The university sector is growing and is currently around 23,000 members in 57 bargaining units across Canada.
Working conditions are highly precarious and jobs are mostly temporary which creates challenges for locals and in turn members.
Chris Aylward and Magali Picard were there to hear from members about how university locals can engage with all levels of the union and how PSAC can better support them.
Delegates asked for better communication and information-sharing, more resources and tools from the national and regional offices, and greater access to PSAC decision-making. They offered creative and innovative ideas on how we can work better together within the union.
Workshops raised several key issues:
- whistleblower protections
- top-ups to benefits (parental and disability)
- child care benefits
- job security
- wage increases, including cost of living adjustments
- wages/benefits need to compensate for tuition hikes (especially for international students)
- human rights protections
Participants also discussed challenges to getting collective agreement improvements, such as the difficulty of long negotiations when the membership are often on short contracts. They also shared ideas about how the union can build on successes. All groups showed a strong appetite for better sector coordination, nationally and regionally.
Speaking of bargaining talks with Casino Regina have broken down and will be going to conciliation. While upper management received a 23% increase in the previous year they are offering peanuts to the staff. The agreement expired December 2016 and since then we have finally got the -3.5% concession off the table. Now being offered 1.5% over 4 years is not good enough especially seeing the increase upper management received to their already over inflated salaries. Members are wondering if they do chose to strike will PSAC have our backs. The last strike left a bitter taste in some people’s mouths and are scared to take that risk again. I will inquire with the right people to make sure our members are 100% informed before casting a ballot.
In Regina we held a May works week. First one we have planned. I attended the parade as well as a karaoke night. I thank Friend Sandra for bringing some delegates from the UNE conference by to have some fun. Next years will be planned for all ages and promoted through the channels to get people out.
Members of PSAC 40005 (members working at Casino Regina) voted on and accepted a new contract. This agreement addresses several priority issues within the workplace as well as some financial certainty.
The new collective agreement includes a 4.5 percent salary increase over the 5 years of the contract which will expire December 31, 2021. The new agreement also provides a .05 per cent increase to the pension plan (matched by the employer), improvements to the Attendance Management system, new provisions for Religious and Cultural Traditions and Compassionate Leave and an increase for both Bereavement Leave and Family Responsibility Leave from three days to four.
I feel that given the results the other crown corporations got from 17 days on a picket line Casino Regina members made the right decision on accepting this contract. Most members can live with this agreement and some are really upset. But now is the time to prepare for the next round and mobilize members to get them ready.
No other issues were brought forward to me to report.
The local executive and bargaining team met for a one day local development session. They head into bargaining in 2020. They learned about PSAC and reviewed the roles and responsibilities of the executive and worked on mobilization. We wish them luck in getting a new agreement.
University of Winnipeg:
PSAC Academic Capacity Unit ratified a new agreement after a year of negotiating. Congratulations!!
University of Saskatchewan:
This University is dealing with substantial tuition increases for graduate students. They will be following this issue closely and gathering information. They are encouraging members to attend discussion sessions and ask a lot of questions.
In the process of receiving printed CBAs, however one department isn’t receiving the proper pay and we are having legal look into it. Holding elections for the local executive this month and as of January we have a full executive again. Many full time hours are being changed to address the shortage that they have on weekends being open 24 hours.
Coop Refinery locked out currently at 71 day lockout. FCL has brought in more living units that they are saying is for shut down. Previously, the workers doing shut down stayed in hotels and such at their own expense, but now FCL is footing that bill. Also a special mediator has been appointed by the Saskparty and they begin on February 18th and have 20 days to reach a deal. I have been walking that line in Solidarity minimum once a week with the Regina and district labour council.
Hello Fellow Workers,
WOW, what a time we are in!! I can say this pandemic has impacted everyone in so many ways! This is going to be a different type of report to say the least.
Graduate student workers have ratified a four-year collective agreement with the University of Saskatchewan.
Approved within this collective agreement are the best wage increases for graduate student workers in the country at 1%, 3%, 3%, and 3% over the four year period. Improvements to language on harassment and discrimination were achieved as well as much needed changes to the language around hours of work.
Provisions were added to cover maternity and parental leave, critically ill family leave and interpersonal and sexual violence leave. These changes bring the collective agreement in line with the Saskatchewan Employment Act.
The new collective agreement improves language around training provisions as well as disciplinary procedures.
A Memorandum of Agreement on Employment Diversity and Inclusion was signed which allows the union to consult and collaborate in ways which demonstrate a mutual commitment to EDI.
Things at Casino Regina are not looking favorable for workers with the safety implications put on by the province. For example in a Shoppers Drug Mart you can have 148 people but in the casino that is 3 city blocks long we are allowed 30. I only say this because at the Casino, I can’t believe I am saying this never mind typing it, the corporation is taking all the precautions and safety measures seriously. We have had one known positive case in October by a guest and it had zero transmission from what we were told. I don’t foresee the corporation keeping all the staff on with only 30 guests for long, so we will be facing layoffs to some staff in the future. We still have around 75 staff members laid off since March. The relaying off of people is going to be detrimental to some of the member’s mental health. I try to be there as much as I can but often think I need to do more. With this pandemic we have seen a lot of greedy and selfish people and that makes my heart hurt. We need to all stick together and realize we are all in this pandemic together but we are all dealing with separate storms. We need to be better and we need to do better.
I want to thank a few people. I want to thank Marianne, for her consistent work through this pandemic making sure we are all taken care of. Her texts and words have got me through some rough times. To PSAC, thank you for being there to help me represent my local and always having my back, I promise my fight has just started and I am looking forward to years more of fighting along with PSAC by my side. I want to thank Diane White, wow what a fighter!! She is a breath of fresh air and lets me just scream!! I want to thank Jessica Bonish from CEIU, she has seen many tears flow through my eyes, and sends me care packages of treats to lift my spirits, she is always messaging me to check in. I want to thank Dani Aubichon, I don’t know what I would do without her check INS, She, herself has been laid off from the start and always caring about someone else before herself. There are far to many people to thank and I look forward to a time where we can all meet face to face and I can give hugs again. I love each and every one of you and I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the things that you do,
Please Keep Safe and for the love of mankind please wear a mask!!
Well not too much is going on other than members still laid off and members not receiving contracts in the University Sector. I will have more of an update at the meetings as I am waiting on the Government to make decisions.