UCCO-SACC-CSN is fast approaching its 20th anniversary. Some will remember our first real contract signed in 2006 after a four-year struggle at the bargaining table as a new union, which was the envy of the public service and separated UCCO-SACC-CSN from the pack in terms of our working conditions.
20 years may seem like a long time. However when we put that date into perspective with the history of our profession in Canada, it really is not a long time at all. It is astounding how far we have come as a union, in such a short period of time. Our gains have never come easily, but if our history has proven one thing, it is that with our unity and collective action, the juggernaut that is UCCO-SACC-CSN will bring many more gains in our future. I am extremely proud of our negotiation process. Receiving our mandate directly from our members is such an important process and is engrained in our DNA. This round of bargaining was no different. Gathering demands for this last round of bargaining, it was clear that our members had three main priorities: a change to our pension plan, a monetary increase, and a change in our annual leave provisions. Though the Supreme Court put a roadblock in our way when refusing to hear our appeal on the pension, with your help the bargaining committee managed to deliver on the members’ top priorities while also improving many other areas of the Collective agreement and making historical change to the disciplinary process in our Global Agreement negotiations.
There are certainly many challenges in every round of bargaining. However this round seemed to have more than its fair share. Not only did the employers’ negotiator change several times, but we also saw a pause resulting from the government calling an election, and of course a worldwide pandemic. I found it particularly striking, since the pandemic began in March 2020, that many organizations began to use the slogan that was chosen by your National Mobilization
committee in 2019 for this round of bargaining, “Stronger Together.” I saw televised music events, CBC specials, and many inspiring photographs of frontline essential workers sharing the same message. If this last round of negotiations has made one thing clear for me, it is that even in the darkest time, when we are together, we are strong. Congratulations to all members of UCCO-SACC-CSN for your dedication in securing this collective and global agreement.