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NPS-V Shift Bidding – COVID-19 Letter of Understanding

posted Nov 2, 2020, 11:32 AM by Gail Sawatzky
Hello GardaWorld Members of Unifor Local 1-S,

There appears to still be some concerns and misunderstandings about the LOU for NPS-V Shift Bidding – COVID-19 within the workplace.
This LOU was drafted through negotiations between Unifor and GardaWorld in response to a lack of training issue created by the 3rd party group CATSA in response to a global pandemic.  This is an unprecedented situation for all of us and the world in this day and age.

GardaWorld has a contractual obligation to provide security services with trained and certified personal running the various security lines.  A shift bid process is used to fill the various lines with qualified employees.

As you know CATSA has postponed all training because of the pandemic.  There has also been a reduction in the number of flights because of the pandemic and this has affected the shift lengths.  Many discussions were held with GardaWorld, shop stewards, your Local Vice-President and additional consultations with the President, from the end of August to around mid October to find solutions to the problem of ensuring qualified employees were working on the lines.  We had a shift bid and it failed so we scheduled another meeting with the Company and stewards where we agreed to go back to what the schedule was before the shift bid. Then the days off were not working as people were working 6 days in a row.  The Company then changed to static days off to try tofix the problem. This didn’t work because people didn’t like the days off.

We needed a solution to cover the lines of business as no matter what we did, not everyone was happy. We decided to negotiate the LOU after consultation with our National Rep, during which we determined it was fair to do most senior volunteer junior forced to cover the lines of business and to ensure our members fulfilled GardaWorld’s contract with CATSA to maintain employment of our membership.
In a Union environment the hierarchy of the Union is used to communicate to you, the members.  Shop stewards are the ones who pass information and answer questions to ensure clarification.  There was involvement with shop stewards, Vice-President, President and National Rep and many discussions regarding these shift bid issues with NPS-V.  These decisions were not made in a bubble as some would suggest.
The LOU which was agreed to laid out the terms and conditions under which GardaWorld could move the junior qualified individual to NPS-V if required due to unfilled shift bid lines.  There is a sunset clause which expires the LOU on December 31, 2020.  The LOU is signed without prejudice or precedent.

The only time a vote must occur on an LOU is when it changes the Terms and Conditions of employment.  This LOU does not change Terms and Conditions of employment.  

As you know, the shift hours have changed back to normal prior to the recent shift bid.  As a result, all NPS-V lines were filled and GardaWorld did not have to force any junior employees using the LOU. 
There are members who are suggesting that Unifor is just taking union dues and doing nothing.  Quite frankly this is false.  Gardaworld membership is roughly 90 members out of 2000.  Since joining Unifor, the membership has essentially had access to a full-time Vice President on a continuous basis.  We have worked on and resolved multiple workplace issues, including the cleaning house of bad management.  We have resolved numerous grievances.  We have resolved human rights issues.  We continue to fight the vacation bank grievance.  The costs of these services provided to date far outweigh the dues received.  This is OK, as Unifor is about helping everyone regardless of the cost.  This is what a good union does.

There are also suggestions that Unifor is only interested in supporting the Company and not the members.  Again, this is false information.  As a Union our job is to work through labour relations issues with the employer and negotiate when necessary.  Our job is to ensure your Collective Agreement, Human Rights and Labour Code is upheld and additionally work through workplace issues on a regular basis.  This is what we do.  In this situation, if GardaWorld is not able to meet their contractual obligations they risk losing the contract to a competitor security company and this puts all your jobs in jeopardy.  We fight to ensure you remain employed, and for this to happen the Company must remain successful.

It appears there have been some breakdowns in the communications through the steward network and some misinformation passed throughout the membership.  This is unfortunate and I’m sorry to hear this.  I hope this information helps clarify the misinformation which is floating around.

In solidarity

Dave Kuntz
President Unifor Local 1-S

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