FortisBC – Bargaining Update #14

May 31, 2024

To: All MoveUP members at FortisBC

As we were getting ready to finalize our revised monetary proposal, we asked the employer for detailed costing information regarding your flex benefits package. They declined to give us this information.

As many of you will know, in Article 21.08(b) of your collective agreement there is a cap on what amount the employer is obligated to pay out in benefits, which is expressed as a percentage of base payroll. If the amount paid out in benefits exceeds this percentage of base payroll, the employer may try to recover the overage of benefit costs from you, our members.

Therefore, we need this information to ensure that whatever combination of wage and benefits proposals we make will not raise the cost of benefits too quickly relative to increases in wages, which would risk exceeding the cap. This is especially concerning since the cost of benefits is naturally moving towards this limit as it rises faster than increases in wages.

We spent the better part of the following two days in caucus discussions and asking follow-up questions of the employer, who brought in one of their benefits experts to speak with us. Their expert was able to give more information than we had, but not the details that we need in order to make an informed proposal that we can be reasonably certain won’t end up with members being told by the employer that they need to go out of pocket for their benefits.

Presently due to availability issues with key members of our committee, we have bargaining dates scheduled on July 9, 10, and 11. We are considering how best to make use of these days.

We will update you again following our next block of dates, or if there should be significant progress in the meantime.

In solidarity,

Your Bargaining Committee:

Norm Stickelmann, Executive Board Member
Michelle Simister, Executive Councillor
Charlie Lee, Executive Councillor
Lea McNaughton, Executive Councillor
Paul Voykin, Union Representative
April Young, Union Representative

File Number: 24-FBC-BLTN-Bargaining Update #14
Union Label: AY:hb usw2009


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