Why is it that we can quickly and fairly negotiate a new collective agreement with contractor employers but when we’re dealing with our traditional municipal government employers, we run into a brick wall? Negotiations between the Union and the City of Red Deer have broken down for a second consecutive round. And it took less than four months since the Agreement expired. And DATS? Brick wall and it’s been a year and a half.
The City’s team insisted that we explain how it is that a raise that’s less than the inflation rate is actually a rollback. How can you not know that? Yes, with the inflation rate for 2022 running at 5.5%, the City of Red Deer negotiators thought we’d be happy to take 2.5% – a full 3% less than inflation. And they don’t get how that’s a rollback? Then they tried to use your Sunday premium to pay for an increase to shift diff – without even telling us they were cancelling the Sunday premium. Nice!
I think they DO get it. They just don’t care. This employer asked for your help with their fiscal problems 2 years ago – problems not of our making, mind you. And we did. Two consecutive zeros with inflation running at 2 and 3 % and rising. They should be offering to help you get caught up, but no. They don’t think you’re worth it. They quote other workers for other employers and expect that’s a valid reason you should take a roll back.
So…yesterday, I filed an application for mediation. I did not ask the City to engage in a joint application. We filed it on our own. As I’ve said previously about our DATS negotiations with Edmonton – if they’re coming to the table to negotiate, we’ll negotiate. If it’s just the brick wall, we’ll close the mediation and move on to next steps.