Bargaining Update

Negotiations Committee Update

Bargaining Update

We are about to enter into a very difficult period in the history of E-Comm. We are hearing from all departments that it is a struggle to keep up between the effects of vacancies and extreme workloads. The last several months we have seen forced overtime become a regular occurrence, with dozens of forced overtime shifts issued. By all accounts, things are going to get worse over the next several weeks – management is reporting over 60 potential forced overtime shifts in December. What should be a festive time of year is instead part of a growing crisis. Our biggest strength is our people, and we thank you all for stepping up and giving what you can. Please remember to also take care of yourself – we’re in a marathon, not a sprint, and we need everyone to stay healthy and find ways to maintain a work life balance through this very difficult time.  

Compensation and Classification  

In the March 9, 2020 Interest Arbitration decision from our previous round of collective bargaining, Arbitrator Vince Ready stated that he had insufficient evidence to conclusively evaluate the classification and compensation of different occupations in our Bargaining Unit, and directed the parties to enter into classification and compensation discussions. He further directed that  

In the event the parties do initiate Step 3 of the Grievance Procedure and fail to reach agreement on any matters, those matters may be referred to Amanda Rogers or another arbitrator agreed by the parties under Article 13.4, with full authority to decide upon and direct implementation of any classification and/or monetary adjustments necessary to fulfill the Terms of Reference. 

Since that decision, the Union has repeatedly attempted to engage ECOMM in classification and compensation discussions. Arbitration dates were scheduled for November 28th, 29th, and 30th with Mark Brown appointed as arbitrator. The CUPE 8911 Bargaining and Executive Committees prepared thoroughly for these dates by engaging a lawyer to prepare legal arguments and a human resources consultant to research fair market compensation, and we gathered a significant amount of information from our records and our members’ lived experience in their roles. 

The Union met with the employer on Monday, November 28th, with Arbitrator Brown present.  The Union’s position was and remains that compensation and classification discussions should include all bargaining unit positions and that a significant market wage adjustment upwards is necessary, and the Employer took the position that only a small selection of operations positions should be included with no consideration of market wages. The Employer disclosed that they are waiting for a market analysis report from Mercer to inform their financial decisions, and it quickly became evident that the parties are unable to have productive discussions around compensation and classification before this report has been presented to the ECOMM Board of Directors.   

As a result, the November 29th and 30th dates were cancelled, and Arbitrator Brown presented an interim award including the following:

  • Effective November 28th 2022, the Union filed a grievance under Section 11.9 of the Collective Agreement, to review all positions in the bargaining unit  
  • If at the end of 60 days there remain disputed positions, the Union will move this process forward to Step 3 of the Grievance procedure, with Mark Brown appointed to adjudicate  
  • The report from Mercer must be completed by December 19, 2022 and reviewed by the E-Comm Board of Directors no later than February 2023 
  • Arbitration can be reconvened at any time with Arbitrator Brown 

The shift differential enhancements will remain in place until either a new collective agreement is ratified or the compensation and classification dispute has been resolved, whichever comes first.  

While we are disappointed that this process did not result in compensation and classification decision, we now have a structure and timeline that we can hold the Employer accountable to. In the meantime, Collective Bargaining will continue as scheduled, with our next meeting with the Employer on December 17th.  

Moving Forward 

  • Wear your Union shirt as much as you can! Let us know if you still need one (we currently have XS, S, M, and XXL sizes available) 
  • Know your rights! Get familiar with your collective agreement 
  • Keep telling us at when you are subjected to forced overtime shifts, missed breaks, extended tours, requests for doctor’s notes, denied overtime leave, and anything else you think goes against the collective agreement 
  • Come to the General Membership Meeting December 6th, 2022 at 8pm via Zoom. We will have more updates, and the Union’s 2023 budget will be presented for discussion and approval. This budget is critical to ensuring we have the means to continue to fight for better for all of our members. Register Now, and spread the word to your coworkers and friends: 

We are all feeling the strain of the last few years, but now is not the time to be discouraged – we need to stay strong together and fight for what we deserve. We want to sincerely thank our members who go above and beyond every day to make sure that their friends and colleagues have the support they need. Thank you for picking up forced overtime shifts so that your friends and colleagues don’t miss important life events. Thank you for doing coffee runs, ordering food, planning social events, and for making sure everyone feels included and part of the team. Thank you for volunteering for committees, programs, and positions that support healthy and safe workplaces. Last but not least, thank you for taking care of yourself and others by staying home when you’re sick, and for choosing not to pick up overtime when you need time to recharge. 

If you have any questions, please email the Executive Committee at or the Bargaining Committee at negotiations@ecpbc.caIn solidarity,

CUPE 8911 Executive and Bargaining Committees