This week CP management presented its approach to this round of bargaining. They’re seeking some combination of significant job cuts and reductions to existing salaries and benefits. The company isn’t suggesting any contract improvements.
Those of you who attended our recent Guild meetings across the country won’t be surprised by this aggressive first pass by management. We had anticipated an element of “shock and awe” and that’s exactly what we got.
We’ve said from the beginning that the company needs to focus more on the revenue side of the business. No one from The Canadian Press has articulated how the company can maintain or improve its level of service at the same time as it is squeezing its primary asset – us.
We have asked the company to provide a detailed breakdown of the reductions they want, as well as projected revenue. We’re prepared to look at ways of making the company more efficient, but we think CP can move forward without requiring us to make significant sacrifices like we’ve made in previous years.
We’ve started a parallel process to discuss pension issues. At this point neither side is proposing any changes to the existing arrangement, although we have all agreed to review it.
In other developments, we have signed off on a letter of agreement to make some adjustments to the vacation provisions. As of January 1, 2012 the vacation year will now be the same as the calendar year, and vacation time from now on will be taken in the same year it is earned. No one will lose any accrued vacation time as a result of the change.
Today was our last meeting for 2011. We’ve set an aggressive schedule for talks through the month of January. We’ll keep you posted.
Your bargaining team:
Terry Pedwell, CP Branch President
Keith Maskell, CMG Staff Representative