The Union applied for Conciliation and the Employer agreed to meet at the Bargaining Table on Monday, September 28, with a government-appointed Conciliation officer.
“We asked for the Employer to come back to the table,” said Jeff Traeger, President of UFCW Local 832. “It’s our hope that they are willing to move off of their entrenched positions and actually be willing to make some tangible movement that will address our member’s concerns. If not, then the strike will continue.”
What is Conciliation?
Conciliation is intended to assist Employers and Unions resolve differences at the negotiations table. A Government-appointed conciliation officer brings both parties to the same location, but different rooms. The Conciliation officer will then attempt to negotiate with both parties and attempt to break the impasse. A conciliation officer cannot force either party to agree to anything.
It is also a necessary step required before either side can apply for Binding Arbitration (in legislation, this is also referred to as Alternate Dispute Resolution).
Ok, but what is Binding Arbitration?
Binding Arbitration is a mechanism that will resolve the dispute between Employer and Union.
Through a hearing process, an Arbitrator will review both the Employer and the Union’s final offer that was made at the bargaining table, and they will only look at the outstanding issues that have not been agreed to.
For each outstanding item, the Arbitrator will listen to both sides make their case. The Arbitrator then has the ability to choose what they think is the fairest offer, or they may also impose a new solution that they feel will better addresses the issue.
This is binding, and will end any labour dispute that is ongoing, or it can be used to prevent one from happening if both sides agree to use this before a strike occurs.
For example: If you had 37 issues at the bargaining table, and three issues that are not agreed to: Pay, Scheduling and Sick Leave. The Arbitrator could choose the Employer’s offer on Pay, and then choose the Union’s offer on Scheduling and then impose a new solution for Sick Leave