MoveUP to Review Draft Amalgamation Agreement
October 22, 2019
To: All MoveUP members at FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy, Inc.
MoveUP is progressing toward the amalgamation of the FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. collective agreements. A combined collective agreement has several advantages. When all MoveUP members at Fortis bargain together, we have more power at the table. MoveUP members will have greater security and more opportunities under an amalgamated collective agreement. Negotiating an amalgamated agreement protects MoveUP members from a unilateral merger of the units by the employer through an application to the Labour Relations Board. Through amalgamation talks, MoveUP is ensuring that member interests are represented every step of the way.
We began this endeavour by establishing an amalgamation committee that has MoveUP representatives from FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc., along with the Union Representative and the Vice President of Utilities. During our preparations, we sought the professional and legal opinion of a pension actuary from George & Bell Consulting Inc., to ensure the protection of the FortisBC Inc. pension plan and that the FortisBC Energy Inc./IBEW pension plan be maintained. The letter can be found here.
Your committee members had several meetings with employer representatives where they worked with individual articles of the two collective agreements, identifying the differences and the similarities. The results of those discussions have now been assembled into a draft “Amalgamated Collective Agreement”.
The entire committee, MoveUP’s representatives and the Company’s representatives, will be meeting in the next week or so to discuss any issues that may arise and concerns that either Party may have regarding the document. If this meeting results in no contentious issues, and the committee agrees to the draft “Amalgamated Collective Agreement”, then you will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not you are in favour of accepting the amalgamation of the two bargaining units, with the terms and conditions set out in one Collective Agreement.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and the hard work that the amalgamation committee has put into this endeavour thus far. They have been dedicated to protecting member rights and to putting us in a strong position for future bargaining. They will continue to work on our behalf, and we are hopeful that the Parties will reach an agreement on the Draft Amalgamated Collective Agreement.
Rysa Kronebusch, Vice President – Utilities