Down to the wire
Contract rules continue
The final year of our collective agreement is/was 2007. But all contract terms and conditions are still in force in January. So it's pretty much business as usual ... for a few weeks, anyway.
We have met almost every workday with company negotiators through Friday Dec. 21. We have made no significant progress. The radical company bid to change what working at the Star means is intact. Your pay, benefits, working conditions and job security all remain under grave threat.
Talks are scheduled to resume after the school holiday break.
Mediator on board
The one positive note is the appearance Dec. 21 of highly respected mediator George Adams, hired jointly by the Guild and the Star. This was an introductory session. Adams, a former judge, is scheduled to take charge of the bargaining table for the full, crucial week of January 14 to 18.
We plan to ask provincial conciliator Simon Clarke to request a ministerial no-board order. We have agreed there will be no lockout or strike before Saturday Jan. 19. This legal step means we will likely be able to strike at 12.01 a.m. on the 19th or any time after. The company will also then be free to lock us out.
Calling all members: We will be meeting on Wednesday Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. at the Harbour Castle Westin. Our one and only strike vote will be taken then, after we present an up-to-the-minute account of what's still on the table. Make sure you've signed a union card, and thus have the right to vote, by talking to us well in advance. No proxies allowed; you must attend to vote.
In the 10 days after the school holiday, we'll be sending out a series of important bulletins detailing the many critical issues and what's at risk. Remember you can check for previous bulletins at our local union website, song.on.ca.
Call the Guild office (416 461-2461) to volunteer for our lockout/strike preparation Action Committee.
And please, have a safe and happy holiday.
Guild Bargaining Committee
Unit Chair: Maureen Dawson
Editorial: Dan Smith and Valerie Hauch (alternate)
Circulation: Steve Gjorkes and Jeff Bodrucky (alternate)
Finance: Cathie Nichols and Dawn Armstrong (alternate)
Advertising: Elizabeth Marzari and Dijana Maderic (alternate)
Thestar.com: Craig Wattie and Tony Camara (alternate)
Pre-Press: Lester Veszlenyi and Lorraine Wohlgemuth (alternate)