Proposed Agreement FAQ

Written by USW 9511 Admin on Wednesday November 20, 2019

Many members have been asking questions about the Proposed Agreement.  We are gathering questions here, and will be updating this as we get more questions.  Keep checking back!

This Frequently Asked Questions list is in relation the Proposed Changes To The Collective Agreement items mailed to members in their voting packages.

Strike Vote

Q: Why is there an affirmative Strike Vote included as part of a "No" vote for the proposed agreement?

A: The process of voting is already time consuming and costly.  Having another vote afterwards depending on the ratification vote outcome would drag this process on even further.  Additionally, this proposed agreement is endorsed by the Bargaining Committee, and further gains through negotiations would likely require a strike mandate, or ultimately strike action, to be successful.

Seniority List

Q: With the changes to the way people are placed on the seniority list, my Seniority Date is currently different than my Hire Date, so will it be changing to my hire date?

A: No.  Using Hire Date for Seniority will be for people hired in the future.  All members employed as of Sept 30th will retain their current accumulated Seniority (with a calculation for PT members to determine from Jan 1, 2019 to Sept 30, 2019), and this new Seniority Date will then be frozen going forward.

Q: Working more, or less, will no longer affect Seniority for Part-Time members?

A: Correct.  This puts Full-Time and Part-Time members on equal footing, as well as removes the ambiguity around fluctuations in the list each time the list is published.

Roll Overs

Q: What happened to Roll Overs?!  How will I get a FT position?

A: With changes to the Roll Over language (removal of accumulation of hours in other centres or doing other duties) and the increase in hiring of Part-Time members (which will pull down average hours) making it less and less likely anyone will roll over, the focus shifted to putting a stop to the loss of FT positions.  We have bargained 20 new FT CSA positions to replace ones that have disappeared over the past few years, as well as bargained to have all FT vacancies replaced with another FT position.  There will no longer be a slow reduction in the number of FT positions.

Q: I was positioned to Roll Over this year.  What happens to me?

A: Anyone who is in their second year of eligibility will still be granted Roll Over this year if they make their hours.  Roll Over would still follow the provisions in the CBA, and be effective May1st.

Q: Can DEs still Roll Over?  There is no mention of new FT DE positions.

A: No, Roll Overs will cease for all employees following the 2019 eligibility year.  There has not been a loss of FT DE positions across the province like the CSA positions, so negotiations did not include new positions, but does stop FT DE positions from shrinking.

Wages

Q:  Why are we not using COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) this time?

A: COLA is a fluctuating figure each year, and is much harder to get agreements on, as the employer has to factor in the "unknown."  This also typically causes them to agree to lower increases overall in case the COLA goes way up.  A static figure is much easier to budget for.

Q: 2% doesn't seem like a lot.  We do way more work now!

A: We proposed higher amounts in our original offerings, and through negotiations, this is where the agreement was reached.  The company was looking for concessions on many things, and while the wage increase may be minimal, we have not had to make concessions in other areas.  We have also made other gains that put members in a better financial position overall.  Additionally, the COLA for 2018 wage increases was 1.7%.

Availability Forms

Q: Does this mean hours will no longer be equalized, but scheduled by Seniority?

A: No, Hours will still be equalized.  Members with restricted availability will not necessarily be equalized, but should be scheduled as equitably as possible.

Benefit Increases

Q: Why are there no increases to other benefits other than vision care?

A: After requesting information from the insurer, it was discovered many benefits are not being utilized to their maximum.  Only vision care was regularly maxed out, so we aimed to increase that to a more contemporary level, and decided to put more effort and money into other things.

Q: Glasses are so expensive!  $300 is not enough, so why only $300?

A: An increase of $100 is still $100 staying in our pockets, even if it doesn't cover the entire amount.  Many employer plans are still below this level (we were behind the average with $200, now we are not), and a lot of plans now have employees paying part of their premiums.  We are apparently the only employees of Serco North America that do not pay any portion of our benefit premiums!

DE2/DE3 Transition

Q:  So DE2s will be taking a pay cut if they already do highway tests?

A: The rate they will be paid for conducting highway tests may be lower than the highest rate they receive for that now, however, that will be their new base rate for everything regardless of G1 or G2 tests conducted (breaks, OT, Statutory Holiday Pay, vacation, STD/LTD/WSIB/EI claims, etc) and puts them on a track to eventually make the highest rate.  DE2s may currently get the highest rate at some points now, but they do not make the same overall compensation as a designated DE3 due to these times they do not get DE3 rate.  This puts everyone on the same path to equal pay.

Q: Why will existing employees be placed on the grid based on their experience, instead of placed at the top and new employees follow the grid?

A:  Converting all existing DE2s to top-rate DE3s was our original position.  Through negotiations, the compromised position of crediting members with experience and placing them on the grid was where the agreement could be made from both sides.  Focusing on the just the hourly rate, members may feel they will be making less, but it is important to look at overall compensation to see where things balance out, and in the long-term, all current DE2s will progress to the top rate instead of being "stuck" at DE2.

Q: I've been trained to do Highways for a long time, but I'm a DE2.  Do I have to start at the bottom of that grid?

A: No.  All existing DE2s capable of conducting G2 Exit Tests will be converted to DE3s, and will be credited with their experience since becoming certified to do Highways to determine their pay grade.