I just got confirmation from the employer that the alternate to roll over of our collective agreement is a go.
So here is the plan. The employer is not prepared to roll over the collective agreement but is prepared to sit down and negotiate the next collective agreement with us right away.
Both sides will table two separate bargaining proposal packages. Package A will be an abbreviated version of the our full proposal packages. Each sides package A will have somewhere between 7 and 9 proposals. Package B will be both sides full bargaining package and will be exchange in a sealed envelope and not opened by either side.
The plan is to negotiate with package A only until Friday, July 18th. If we are able to reach an agreement by Friday, July 18th with package A package B will be exchange back unopened and will will hold our ratification vote. If we are unable to reach an agreement by Friday, July 18th full bargaining will continue with package B at the end of August.
Granted I have not yet seen the employer package A but I am optimistic, albeit cautiously, that both sides are only tabling with their package A minor items that would be prudent to address before signing off on negotiations of a collective agreement with an unusually long 5 year term.
I may sound like I am hoping both sides get to have their cake and eat it to and perhaps I am. I also am however confident in the abilities of our bargaining committee. We have stuck solidly together in the past to fight off concessions, with success, and if need be we can do it again.