BTS Bulletin 7/13/2018

July 13, 2018
Sisters and Brothers,
We are writing this letter as part of an ongoing effort to keep you informed of issues currently facing members of the Bell Technical Solutions bargaining unit. The Committee met with the Company in a series of scheduled meetings. As a result, we have become aware of some important issues regarding scheduling and the working of overtime.
As many of you have now seen on your work schedules, the company has decided to start scheduling full-time employees around the province on a 6×4 during a pay period with no explanation or notice as per the Canada Labour Code. This language is old and not commonly used but has been there since the creation of the Company.
When an employee is on a 6×4 schedule in the pay period, in the first week all six days are regular hours of work and the four days in the 2nd week are regular hours as well. This is outlined in Article 16.02 b), and as such no overtime rate applies to the 6th day in week one.

Read More here….BTS Bulletin 7132018

Participate in the federal government’s online pharmacare consultation


Have your say on how Canada implements a national pharmacare plan. The federal government has opened comments and a poll for members of the public to share thoughts about the high cost of prescription medication, and what we can collectively do to fix it.

Join the discussion here.

“Unifor members know that the time to act is now – together we need to demand universal pharmacare for everyone, regardless of income, age, or where the person works or lives,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “If we want a truly universal system to become a reality in this country, then we need to make sure the federal government hears this call loud and clear.”

As many as 8.4 million Canadians have no prescription drug coverage at all; this disproportionately affects women and young workers. In addition to this, Canada’s spotty prescription coverage system is inefficient and expensive, with Canadians paying wildly different rates and receiving grossly inconsistent coverage.

Recent studies show a national drug plan through bulk purchasing and negotiated pricing with drug manufacturers could lower the costs of drugs enough to finance a full pharmacare system with no increase to government costs. The federal Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) estimates minimum savings of at least $4 billion annually based on the most comprehensive drug coverage, while other estimates include savings of up to $ 11 billion.

“A robust, national pharmacare program is critical for Canada’s success in a global economy,” said Andy Savela, Director of Health Care. “Participating in this discussion with the federal government is one way for Unifor members to advocate for a universal, national pharmacare plan.”

Talks resume to end 11-week strike in Goderich


Unifor and Compass Minerals agreed to return to the bargaining table on Thursday, July 12, 2018, 11 weeks into a strike at the Goderich salt mine.

“We have had hundreds of members of Unifor and other unions strengthen the picket line plus community members visit daily and it’s an amazing show of solidarity for Local 16-0,” said Jerry Dias, National President.

Dias joined 348 striking miners on the picket line July 5 for the first in a series of daily rallies in support of the workers.

Unifor has also produced a series of videos showcasing daily community events hosted by Local 16-0, including a children’s chalk art contest, a concert, a fishing derby and daily barbecues.

Many young families say their children are now feeling the stress of having parents off the job.

Vanessa Kelly says it’s very hard on her two children.

“They know we are stressed and struggling financially and they just want dad to go back to work at the salt mine because that’s where he belongs,” said Kelly in a video posted here.

“The people of Goderich want us to get back to work so life in this town can get back to normal,” said Gary Lynch, President of Local 16-0 at a rally at the picket line.

“The solidarity we have seen from members across the province had a real impact on getting us back to the table,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the National President.

In addition to the efforts on Goderich, Unifor also placed a full page letter in a newspaper from Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director, raising concerns about the labour dispute.

For more on the history of this strike that began April 27, watch this Unifor YouTube video.