Friday, January 09, 2009

From CUPE 3903 on the forced ratification vote.

Original here.
Yesterday (Thursday, January 8th) at a general membership meeting, the bargaining team and executive presented the employer’s latest offer to the membership. The offer was resoundingly rejected by the membership, with 90% of members in attendance voting to refrain from sending the offer to ratification. In response, instead of bargaining at the table, the employer has notified CUPE 3903 that it has begun the process of holding a forced ratification vote.

What is a forced ratification vote? A Forced Ratification Vote (what they refer to as a “supervised vote”) is, essentially, a loophole in the labour laws that gives the employer the power to circumvent the
bargaining process—to contact striking members directly and compel them to vote on a deal of the employer’s own choosing.

The employer is only legally allowed to use it once. The forced vote is a powerful instrument that the employer uses in order to maximize confusion and minimize the need to make meaningful movements at the

Needless to say, the union is disappointed that the employer has once again walked away from the bargaining process. This disappointment is compounded by the fact that the deal does not adequately address our three main priorities:

Job Security (Unit 2)
Graduate Funding (Units 1 and 3), and
Funding (All Units).

The union is encouraging all members to reject this offer by voting no. The employer is counting on our members settling for a concessionary offer.

Unions that are able to beat a forced ratification find that they are able to put the bargaining team in an immensely strong position. Your no vote will signal to the employer that the offer is not adequate,
and as such, they will need to table an offer that addresses our three main priorities. In future negotiations, their forced offer becomes the floor for a settlement, as they cannot avoid bargaining at the table any longer.


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