Colorful. Entertaining. Ill informed. Dumb.
Strikes are frustrating for everyone but serve a purpose. When negotiating a contract you need leverage to garner the best deal. Many believe that the City, as an employer, acted in good faith.
Unfortunately, the take it or leave it approach to bargaining only generated strike votes of 94 - 96% approval. Unheard of levels of support. Historically most strike mandates fall within the 65 - 80% approval rate.
Why were staff so motivated to support strike action? Beyond Sam Sullivan's comments it was the attempt to claw back benefits that they hypocritically promoted in their application to Canada's Top 100 Employers (2007 Edition).
People were striking to keep their benefits and as noted before over contract length. CTV, Tuesday Sept. 25, reported that it will take 2 years for staff to recoup the money lost in this strike. What the media can't comprehend, or won't admit, is that 39 months ends 90 days after the Olympics. There is no benefit for the employees to bargain at that time. Olympics, on average, generate debt.
Thankfully reporters and talk show host don't negotiate contracts for others.
Insanity, as defined by Benjamen Franklin, best defines the City's negotiating style.
Do the same thing over and over hoping for a different result.After 11 months of one way time limited ultimatums and 8 weeks of strike action the City management team finally realized that bargaining actually requires two parties exchanging proposals. It started, in true Vancouver style, over coffee. Finally in week 9 mediators were brought in.
Anyone who has read this blog over time will know I am no fan of CUPE's:
- No Layoffs due to Contracting Out;
- Auxiliary Seniority (CUPE 15); or
- it's 2010 Olympic language;
Once the Port Moody template of 39 months and 9.75% was replaced by the 18.76% compounded over 5 years (Surrey, Richmond, North Vancouver, Delta, White Rock) why did the City not apply for non-binding mediation ( or as they call it "enhanced mediation") then?
This nearly 11 week marathon would probably have been over in weeks 3 or 4.