Unity Negotiations are fast approaching. As always, the Bargaining Team’s focus is to make sure the proposals we trade with employers reflect the full membership’s priorities. One of the first steps in this process is issuing the Bargaining Survey.
The answers from over 18,000 members covered by Unity Contracts steer the Bargaining Team through the negotiation process. This is your contract, and your coworkers and Bargaining Team need your say to go forward.
The survey covers contract enforcement, scheduling, and pay. For this round of negotiations there are also several questions surrounding your employer’s response to COVID-19 and wildfires we’ve faced in the last year.
Let’s take a closer look at several of the survey sections:
The foundation to our contract’s strength lies in its enforcement. That is why the survey asks how you deal with contract violations and how strongly you support strengthening the Shop Steward Program, which would allow stewards in the store to more effectively enforce the contract.
Hours and scheduling are consistently near the top of member’s listed priorities in Bargaining Surveys. This last decade, we’ve made progress both in negotiations and legislation to ensure everyone gets the hours they need to support themselves and their families. Wins such as the Fair Work Week law, First Day Sick Leave, as well as the minimum hours guarantee won in the last contract put us in a strong position to further strengthen scheduling rights in our contracts. You will be asked questions about how satisfied you are with the amount of hours you’re scheduled, how much availability you feel is fair to get minimum guaranteed hours, and how many hours you think is fair for the minimum hours guarantee.
Just as important as the hours we’re scheduled is how much we’re paid. Higher and more equitable wages were one of our greatest wins in the last contract, but the fight for fair wages goes on. Members on the Bargaining Team need to know what wage increase you feel is fair, as well as the dollar amount you would be willing to strike over.
Finally, the COVID-19 Pandemic and summer wildfires have reminded us of just how essential our work is to the community. The lasting impacts of COVID-19 and climate change are not going away, so some of the final questions cover the steps your employer took to protect you and your coworkers during these crises. You will be asked if the supplies your employer provided were sufficient, if you and your coworkers were given enough time off for quarantine when needed, as well as what you feel is a fair amount for hazard pay.
You will be able to rank the broader priorities, and are provided an opportunity to mention anything else you would like the Bargaining Team to know. Your voice can only be heard if you say something.
Please, respond by March 19. Encourage your coworkers to fill out the survey too.
We will start these negotiations together, fight for a better contract together, and win together.
As always, in unity,