Monday, January 27, 2014

Good faith bargaining

I don't know the details of this particular case, but I am very glad to see a court slap down a public service negotiator for not bargaining in good faith:

... the government representatives were pre-occupied by another strategy,” Justice Griffin wrote. “Their strategy was to put such pressure on the union that it would provoke a strike by the union. The government representative thought this would give government the opportunity to gain political support for imposing legislation on the union.”

...The government’s team, led by former president and CEO of the Public Sector Employers’ Council Paul Straszak ...thought all that was needed to make the legislation constitutional was consultation – a conclusion condemned by Justice Griffin as incorrect.
“A party cannot say it is consulting if it starts from the position that its mind is made up no matter what the other side presents by way of evidence or concerns,” she said.
Yes, exactly!

I've been in and out of unions now for more than 40 years.  The people who do the bargaining on behalf of the public are never doing taxpayers any favours when they play political games and subvert bargaining processes.  There's been entirely too much of this type of thing in public sector bargaining in Canada, particularly over the last decade.  I'm glad the courts are sending a message to cut it out.

And speaking of unions, here is a chart from Unifor --via Larry Hubich -- which compares unionization to poverty rates.

It is not in the least surprising to me that the poverty rate in a country plummets when more of its employees are protected by unions.

Unionization and poverty

The union makes us strong.

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