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President’s Report 2007

October 24, 2007

On behalf of myself and the Executive Council, we would like to welcome each and every one of you to Local 00051’s seventh annual general meeting. 

Another year has come and gone.

Phase 1 of the Union/Management Initiative (UMI) has finally being implemented across the offices in Canada.  TC-TSO managers, team leaders received their training together with Union representatives.  UMI is a set of principles adopted to encourage early and effective resolution of conflicts between the Local membership and management at the lowest possible practical level.

UMI has already been proven effective in some divisions and with some management.  The Local union representatives have seen more open/transparent communication with the goal of achieving a mutual resolution which is beneficial for all parties involved. 

Our Director, Anuradha Marisetti is pro-active in this initiative.  She has demonstrated time after time the right of the Union to remain involved in what potentially can affect our members.  In this respect, she meets with me on a weekly basis whereby we exchange information/concerns.  We also hold Union/Management meetings on a quarterly basis.  This provides us with an opportunity to discuss issues that have a broad impact to our members – it is not a forum to discuss issues that are particular to one individual. 

This year, with the assistance of our Director, a local Work Force Adjustment Committee was struck up.  In November 2006, we had 42 employees who had received formal notification that they were affected as a result of the employer restructuring its operations in such a way as to eliminate their job or function or the transferring of their job or function to another office.  During the year 2007, we added 8 more employees.  I am pleased to report that a lot of the affected employees have been placed in permanent positions.  We have a remaining 28 to be placed.  I have recently been informed that we have jobs for 11 of these members but this has not been finalized at the writing of this report. 

During the process of trying to place our members, it was found that management instead of providing reasonable job offers, were invoking permanent lateral move (PLM), a staffing tool to move staff to new positions.  PLMs do not afford the member the same rights and protections as they would otherwise have if the placement was made under the reasonable job offer (RJO) provisions of the WFA. 

I can only strongly recommend that if you the member are affected or will be potentially affected, please contact a union representative.  We know about WFA and we can inform you of your rights and ensure that all of your rights under the collective agreement are adhered to. 

It's that time of year again when our contract expires on October 31, 2007.  Bargaining demands were exchanged electronically with the employer on July 3.  Both sets of demands can be found on these web sites:  www.psac.com and www.ute-sei.org.

The PSAC and CRA have agreed to set aside the following dates for negotiations: September 17-21, September 24-28 and October 22-26.  But, it is not acceptable to the negotiating team, the union, or the membership that the employer is unwilling to meet for a sustained period to get a collective agreement before October 31.  UTE still hopes to secure further dates and is working hard to negotiate a new agreement in as short a time as possible.

If you wish to receive updates on bargaining, you can sign up now on the PSAC web site – www.psac.com to automatically receive Bargaining INFO bulletins as they are issued or by using the “Subscribe” feature on the UTE website at www.ute-sei.org.

In closing, I can assure you that I will continue to represent you, to the best of my ability and would like to take this opportunity to remind you that this is YOUR union and whether you become involved in the union as a Steward, Executive Council member or simply a member at large, your continued support is always welcomed, and to say that we can’t do it without YOU.

In Solidarity, 
Rita Hinchliffe
President, UTE Local 00051 
Toronto West