Granville Island bargaining update - Impasse declared

The CMHC Granville Island bargaining team, consisting of Tony Barrow, Sandy Scott, Steven Chen, Verda Cook, and Maxime Thibault-Gingras has declared impasse in negotiations with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation after the employer did not make progress towards addressing critical issues in negotiations for members working at Granville Island in Vancouver.

The team met with management representatives on February 3, expecting a response to the Unions last proposal, but instead were informed that the employer had decided not to respond to the latest offer.

CMHC management decided to stick to their original position, which falls noticeably short of what members asked the bargaining team to negotiate into a new collective agreement: a modest increase to shift premiums, improvements to personal leave and bereavement leave, a transit allowance, and strong no contracting out language.

In addition, management is seeking concessions to the existing contract, including giving themselves the ability to hire casual workers with no limits on the numbers, a reduction in the shift premium time period, and removal of language that guarantees at minimum the same designated paid holidays and vacation leave entitlements as non-unionized employees.

It is deeply concerning that after more than a year in bargaining, CMHC is still intent on seeking concessions. The team is also concerned CMHC will use casual hires – instead of full-time permanent employees - to increase the workforce over the long term, weakening the workforce.

Precarious, part-time, non-standard, and temporary work is on the rise in Canada. These jobs are not good jobs – they are not good for workers and they are not good for the public that members at Granville Island serve. Work at Granville Island should be done by a full-time, secure workforce.

Now that impasse has been declared, PSAC will be asking the Minister of Labour to appoint a Conciliation Officer to help both parties reach a tentative agreement.

All members are encouraged to take part in a virtual townhall meeting, scheduled on February 24 at 12PM.

Approximately 60 members of Local 20378 work at Granville Island, performing a wide variety of administrative, maintenance, and public outreach duties, their collective agreement expired March 31, 2020.