Building Trades Bargaining Process

The last few days I have had a number of questions regarding our bargaining process, the separation of the trades, and the impact of trade ratification on other trades.

In 2011 the Building Trades of Alberta came together and changed the way that bargaining would work for all trades in Alberta. Before this time all the trades were placed in one of four bargaining groups to bargain group issues; in most cases there were few links between the trades in each bargaining group. So for the 2011 round of collective bargaining the Building Trades merged all the groups into one, now referred to as Framework Bargaining. The reason for this was so that the issues that impacted all trades could be addressed with all the trades standing together and getting the same deal for everyone. After all the common issues are dealt with, the trades break off into individual trade tables to address issues that are trade specific, bargaining with their individual trade divisions.

For this round of bargaining the date of completion of bargaining was set as March 2, 2015. Any trade division that was not completed by that date had to move to mediation. As per the Alberta Labour Code once we have 75% of trades ratified the remaining trades will move from mediation to binding arbitration. At this time 15 of the 24 trades have ratified the 2015 Provincial Collective Agreement they have to have 17 of the 24 trades ratified to move the remaining trades to binding arbitration. If the required 17 trades do not ratify the collective agreement and mediation breaks down the remaining trades without a collective agreement could be in a position to pursue legal strike action.

So in summery the bargaining process is a two-step process with Framework Bargaining followed by Small Table Bargaining. In the process there is no separation of trades during Framework Bargaining we sit at the same table as the Pipefitters, Boilermakers, etc. At Small Table Bargaining it is just our Bargaining Committee with the Insulator Trade Division Bargaining Committee. If 17 of the 24 trades ratify their agreements it will force the rest of the trades not yet ratified into binding arbitration, but up to that point other trades ratification has little to no impact on the trades not yet ratified.

There is an Information Meeting for this Collective Agreement at the St Albert Inn and Suits April 25, 2015 starting at 9:00 am.

If you have any question please contact myself, Doug Johnson or Doug Casemore at the Edmonton union hall or Pat Tilley at the Calgary office.

Thank you