ICBC-Recap of our recent Telephone Townhall
July 11, 2022
To: All MoveUP members at ICBC
We would like to thank all our members who participated in our telephone townhall on July 5.
We know there were some members who were unable to attend or were unable to receive a call. While our dialing system is very effective, at times it may encounter connection issues particularly if the receiver is in a poor coverage area or has unknown calls blocked on their phone.
For those who were not able to join the call, we have put together a Q&A summary here on what was discussed.
Have we started bargaining?
No. Although your bargaining committee is fully prepared to commence collective bargaining now, ICBC has been awaiting more clarity on the provincial government mandate. We believe proceeding when both parties have more information will result in less overall delays. We will be meeting later this month to discuss bargaining protocol and procedures in preparation for the process to get started.
What happens if the BCGEU members in the public sector go out on strike?
At the present time, the BCGEU has indicated that they are planning for strategic, targeted job action. Those strategies could include things such as overtime or work-to-rule (i.e. working to the strictest interpretation of the rule). That means there likely won’t be any picket lines going up any time soon.
In the event a picket line does go up, if you are part of a shared office or otherwise encounter a picket line, then you would be expected to respect the picket line and not cross. In that event, our office will be in coordination with your job stewards to get information out to you as quickly as possible.
The government recently shared information that they offered an 11% raise over three years. How does that affect our bargaining?
The recent proposal that was shared by the BC government was, in some ways, a positive given that it was a significant improvement on what was initially proposed as reported (roughly half of that figure).
However, public sector unions including ours have identified that a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is crucial to supporting members as they deal with rising costs due to inflation. The proposal, in the view of the BCGEU bargaining team, fell short of that expectation.
We are supportive of getting the best deal possible for our members and we will bargain accordingly to ensure that outcome without compromising the work that our labour movement partners are engaging in overall.
Will John Horgan stepping down as BC Premier affect bargaining?
No, although we are sure the Premier would like to see a fair deal being reached for all parties before he formally relinquishes his position. We also remind members that while the public sector bargaining process may feel frustrating, our negotiators have seen a significant difference in dealing with this government versus the previous BC Liberal governments where 0% wage increases or even wage cuts were frequently tabled, not to mention contracts being torn up or reneged on after being signed (just ask teachers or nurses).
When are we scheduled for bargaining?
As of yet, no bargaining dates have been set and notice to commence collective bargaining has neither been served by the corporation, nor MoveUP. The parties aim to meet later this month to discuss bargaining process and protocols.
Will we have an opportunity to see the proposals before they go to the employer?
The proposals that we ultimately table with the corporation are informed by the bargaining surveys that you took earlier this year. After we have formally presented the proposals to the employer, that is when we will be able to share them with you. It is not strategically wise to send that out ahead of time because if the employer gets advance notice of what we have in our proposals before they are presented, they get the advantage of countering what we have. That is not to our benefit.
Are we going to go on strike now that the latest BCGEU offer was rejected?
Although the BCGEU members are in a legal position to strike now, they would still have to provide 72-hour notice before engaging in any strike activity. We are nowhere near that point in our bargaining. If we were to contemplate job action, we would first need to do a strike vote with you first.
Once an agreement is reached, will there be retroactive pay?
Depending on the terms of the settlement, we would ask for retroactive pay back to the date that the collective agreement expired, and the renewed agreement would be effective, July 1, 2022.
How can I support our bargaining committee?
You can help us by staying informed, reading our bulletins, connecting regularly with your job stewards, volunteering to become a job steward in your office, and coming to future telephone town hall meetings to hear from us in person. You should also ensure that your contact information is up to date so we can reach you with updates. You can update us here. For success at the table, we need to all move forward together.
If you have any questions or concerns about bargaining, please connect with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Bargaining Committee:
Brenda Chu, Executive Board Member
Bryan Finstad, Executive Board Member
Brian Martens, Executive Board Member
Dimitri Ossinsky, Executive Board Member
Gunter Seifert, Executive Board Member
Trevor Hansen, Union Representative
Annette Toth, Vice-President