Despite protracted negotiations, including a conciliation meeting between parties on Friday January 23, the Employer has flatly rejected our demands for a fair contract that addresses the needs of Unit 2 members.
Our position is that a new Collective Agreement that excludes measures to improve our wages is simply unacceptable. Many of us are already struggling to finance our degrees without incurring massive personal debt. With tuition increases slated to rise by 6% between 2014 and 2016, the Employer’s weak commitment to negotiation belies an economic reality of mounting costs and decreased funding. Without a proportionate increase in wages, student academic workers at Trent are at risk of falling even further behind.
This is why the Bargaining Team has requested a ‘No Board’ report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, thus initiating a 17-day countdown before we will be in a legal strike/lockout position. As part of our ongoing effort to motivate the Employer to bargain seriously, we are calling on all members to vote ‘yes’ on the upcoming ballot for a strike mandate.
Unless a majority of members who cast ballots vote in favour, a union cannot go on strike. A 'yes' vote means that members empowers their bargaining team to call a strike if it isn't able to achieve a deal that it believes would satisfy the membership.
We’ll be holding two members meetings this week on Thursday January 29, at which we can share more information about the negotiation process to date and answer questions about where we go from here. Following the meetings, members can cast their ballots.
NOTE: Please bring ID to confirm membership.
By demonstrating to Trent that our members are willing to go on strike, we obtain the leverage we need to ensure that you get the best possible terms in a new Collective Agreement. We know that many of you understand this. But for those of you who might be thinking about voting 'no', we've put together some responses to common concerns. Click here to read more about Strike Mandate Votes
We hope you will come out on January 29th and vote 'yes' to give your bargaining team the greatest possible power going back into negotiations. Showing the Employer that we are serious is our most effective means of securing a fair contract.
Your Bargaining Team.