Labour Board Finds ICBC is Bargaining in Bad Faith
Orders Crown Corporation to Bargain Monetary Items with Union
Burnaby – The Labour Relations Board has found that the Insurance Corporation of BC is bargaining with its unionized employees in bad faith and has ordered ICBC to return to the table to discuss monetary items, said the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, local 378 (MoveUP).
ICBC has been saying it can’t bargain monetary items (wages and benefits) until the provincial government finishes a review of the Corporation’s services. ICBC has said, in absence of a monetary mandate from government, all it can offer its employees is a five year contract with zeros in each year.
But the Corporation is bringing whole scale change to its business processes through its Transformation Program. ICBC has indicated the Transformation Program could result in offices being closed, jobs being changed and fewer overall jobs by 2014. In March of 2012 the Corporation tabled proposals it called monetary proposals to address these changes.
Then, in April, ICBC changed its position to say these proposals were not monetary.
The Labour Board’s Order rejects ICBC’s attempt to have it both ways, saying:
Objectively speaking, the Employer’s refusal to bargain monetary issues until the Government finishes its core review process places a clear impediment to reaching a collective agreement, which is in violation of the requirement to bargain in good faith. The Employer has unilaterally placed a restriction on bargaining which is inconsistent with the requirement to bargain in good faith under the Code. In doing so it is not making every reasonable effort to conclude a collective agreement.
Furthermore, the Order states:
… the Employer is ordered to withdraw its refusal to negotiate monetary items and is ordered to bargain towards a collective agreement with the Union on all issues.
“We’re pleased the Labour Board cleared away this artificial barrier thrown up by ICBC,” said Jeff Gillies, MoveUP Vice President. “We’re eager to get back to the table to bargain a fair and reasonable agreement for our members.”
This order gives MoveUP a powerful tool. If ICBC doesn’t now bargain monetary items in good faith the union has the ability to file the award in court.
MoveUP members at ICBC will begin job action on Friday, July 6 with a ban on all overtime. It is the union’s sincere hope this award and the job action will show the provincial government the perils of a tightly centralized bargaining mandate, and encourage ICBC to come to the table to bargain a fair and reasonable collective agreement in good faith.
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