Tag Archives: strike

Talks continue between Bruce Power, Society of United Professionals

Bruce Power collective bargaining negotiations with the Society of United Professionals are expected to continue this week with the support of a Ministry of Labour conciliator, according to a press release from Bruce Power.
The press release further stated Bruce “is committed to an open dialogue and continued engagement to reach a new collective agreement.”
However, the Society of United Professionals stated in a press release that both sides remain far apart on a new contract, and expressed concern that its 1,200 members will soon be in a legal strike or lockout position.
“We have been working tirelessly to find a way to reach a fair contract
for everyone but there has been little progress on the big issues,” said
Society of United Professionals Bruce Power Local vice-president Mike
Gade, who is leading negotiations for the union. “We need the company to
get serious about negotiating a deal because there is a lot at stake for
every Ontarian if we can’t.”
Gade said that while some progress has been made, there needs to be significant progress on key issues.
Key issues at the bargaining table include ensuring good jobs for the
next generation of Bruce Power employees, career development
opportunities for current employees, and improving health and safety at
the plant.
The main sticking point, according to Gade, is the “balance point” between contract employees and permanent employees. He said in a previous interview the union doesn’t want to eliminate use of contractors, but would like to preserve “good, permanent jobs” at Bruce Power.

The 1,200 Bruce Power professionals represented by the Society of United
Professionals include engineers, supervisors and other professional
workers. The parties have been in contract renewal negotiations since
November 2018. A Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator has been
assisting talks since June 24.
Gade said there have been five sessions with the conciliator to date. Two more are planned for late this week.
If a deal cannot be reached in the two days of conciliation, the
conciliator will issue a no-board report. Once the report is issued it
would start the 17-day countdown to a legal strike-lockout position. The
Society of United Professionals’ Bruce Power Local members voted 97 per cent in
favour of a strike mandate on June 19. It was the first strike vote ever
taken by the Bruce Power Local members.
Gade said that initial strike action would not involve a complete shut-down.

Bruce Power professionals deliver 97% strike mandate

By Pauline Kerr

The Bruce Power Local members of the Society of United Professionals have issued a 97 per cent strike mandate. With contract negotiations at an impasse, a Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator will assist in negotiations June 24-26 between management and the union representing 1,200 Bruce Power engineers, supervisors and other professional workers. A press release from John Peevers, director of corporate communications for Bruce Power, stated, “The company is committed to an open dialogue and continued engagement to reach a new collective agreement.” Should no progress be made, strike action of some sort could happen as soon as mid to late July, said Mike Gade, vice-president of the local. Gade said the 97 per cent vote indicates “overwhelming support for our agenda.” According to Gade, there are two main sticking points. One is the balance between regular, permanent jobs and contract jobs. “We disagree on where the balance point is,” he said, explaining there’s been a shift at Bruce Power to a greater percentage of contract jobs. While he acknowledges there will always be contract work, the union wants to protect “good, permanent jobs” for future generations of Bruce Power workers. The second sticking point is career development – providing opportunities for more challenging work as people progress in their careers. Gade said the hope is the conciliator will help break the impasse and avert a strike. If the sessions with the conciliator are unsuccessful, Gade said a “noboard report will be issued.” That’s followed by a 17-day “cooling off period,” after which the union would be in a legal position to strike. “A 97 per cent strike vote is an overwhelming mandate for our bargaining team and I hope the company takes this as a sign that it’s time to come back to the bargaining table with a fair offer,” said Gade, who is leading negotiations for the union. “With this strike vote, we want our friends and neighbours to know that we are willing to do what it takes to keep good jobs here today and for generations to come.” Gade said that a strike, at least initially, would not involve “a full withdrawal of services. Our interest … would be in pressuring the company for a fair contract.”