CUPE 2013 Strike Vote and You: A FAQ Sheet
What is a strike vote?
A union conducts a strike vote to poll the members of its bargaining unit to determine whether they want to take job action. Job action aims to pressure the Employer into offering a fair and equitable collective agreement. The union puts this vote out to the membership only once an impasse in bargaining is reached. Your bargaining committee will present a strike vote to you when they believe that this is the only meaningful method remaining to get a fair offer from the employer.
Does a strike vote mean we will immediately go out on strike?
No! Your bargaining committee's goal is to get a negotiated settlement without resorting to job action.
A positive strike vote means that our union can call a strike, not that it must. By voting in favour of job action, we are demonstrating to the Employer that we strongly support our bargaining committee, that we are serious about achieving our bargaining objectives, and that we are willing to take necessary job action to get them.
What is job action/strike action?
Job action can take many forms and is most effective when carried out in an escalating manner. Job action can begin with a refusal to perform specific tasks and can escalate into a strike. A strike can be an overtime ban, a refusal to carry out selected services, or a rotating or complete work stoppage. During job action, the bargaining committee would continue negotiating the terms of a Collective Agreement with the Employer.
Why is this necessary?
It's been over 365 days since our last Collective Agreement expired. A strongly supported strike vote provides leverage to our bargaining committee by placing pressure on the employer to offer a fair and equitable contract. The purpose of a strike is to put the greatest amount of pressure on our Employer while minimizing both the impact to residents and the cost to union members.
It is common for the Employer's offer to improve after a strong strike mandate from the union members.
Who can vote?
A lack of a ratified agreement affects all union members in good standing: full-time, part-time, regular seasonal, and auxiliary employees. If the union calls the membership to vote on job action, all members are encouraged to cast their ballots.
How do I get more information?
Throughout the bargaining process it is important that you keep informed to avoid spreading damaging rumours. The best way to get more information and to ask questions is to attend upcoming general membership meetings. Meeting times as well as all bargaining updates will be posted on union bulletin boards in your work areas. You can also contact your bargaining committee members:
Gilles Larose - Chair
Paul Rowley - Trades
Dan Tkachuk - Non- Trades
Dave Emerson. - C2s
Darren Reed - C1s
Memorandum of agreements both provincial and local (expired 2012).