After a little bit of prodding, the employer has agreed to meet on November 15th to continue negotiations.
Negotiations with the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority (GLPA) have been long and painful. Members have been without an agreement since June 2016. With their lead negotiator, Stéphane Bissonette, GLPA demanded over 100 concessions. The negotiating team hit a brick wall every time they went to the table including Mr. Bissonette and his team coming unprepared to several rounds of negotiations and even in one instance spending less time at the table then it takes to get a pizza delivered.
After changing their negotiating team which included removing Stéphane Bissonette as lead negotiator, the employer tried to further delay the process by proposing dates to continue mediation in January 2020. As a result, members voted on Tuesday in favour of taking job action/strike if necessary. On Wednesday, the employer indicated that it would be willing to meet sooner. All parties agreed to meet on November 15th.
“Finally, GLPA realizes that we are serious”, said Martin Mika, UCTE Regional Vice-President, Ontario. “I am confident that we can get a collective agreement done.”