February 21, 2018
To keep you informed and engaged, I’d like to provide you with the following update on negotiations between IBEW Local 37 and the Electrical Contractors Association of New Brunswick (ECANB).
As you may be aware, we requested negotiations take place prior to the current contract expiration date of September 30, 2017. Because of health issues, the lead negotiator for the employers (ECANB) had to be replaced. This resulted in a late start – with meetings on November 16th and December 6th, 2017. David Ellis is representing ECANB alongside representatives from K&M, PowerTel, and Emera. Members of Local 37’s negotiation team are Brian Matheson, International Representative with IBEW, and myself. Unfortunately, no members accepted our invitation to join the negotiating team.
At the end of our last meeting, the ECANB provided us with a proposal and requested that we ask members if they would accept their proposal and vote on it. We could not recommend the employers offer to members, as we do not believe it’s worth holding a vote at this time. We suggested that IBEW and ECANB go to conciliation to help with negotiations before a vote is held. I also stated that I would first discuss with members before applying for conciliation or holding a vote.
During discussions with members, the overwhelming response indicated that the offer was indeed not worth voting on. So, we asked government to appoint a conciliator to help with our negotiations. To proceed without delay, IBEW Local 37 requested that we meet as soon as possible. The ECANB response was they will not be available until mid-April.
When I raised the issue of retroactivity in the event we were to agree to an increase, the ECANB informed me that it’s not on the table, and does not exist in the world of construction.
We are not happy about all of this, and I’m sure you share similar frustration. We are looking at ways to speed up the process, but we may be forced to wait.
I truly appreciate your patience. We’re currently working with the conciliator to try and schedule a meeting before mid-April. I will keep you up to date as more information becomes available. As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or would like to participate on your union’s negotiating team.
Assistant Business Manager