Relationships with Workers

How to have success in a Union environment.

Success in Collective Bargaining means you have a good give and take relationship between Management and Workers. You can only build that relationship with trust and respect. I feel I have a lot of experience in this area after nearly 20 years in a public sector union environment at VIU.

In 2011 the VIU Faculty Association (VIUFA) went on its longest strike in its history. 32 days. It was one of the longest strikes in post-secondary history in BC. There were a number of reasons but I believe the reason the strike lasted so long was due to an adversarial relationship that lacked a lot of trust and respect. It took an arbitrator to come in and finally end the dispute. 

In the 7 years since then (and actually not too long after 2011), things have changed, and while there will always be issues between workers and management to resolve, the relationship has been respectful and constructive for both sides. So much so that in our last round of bargaining we were able to move to a “common interest” type of bargaining which sees both parties come to the table to resolve items of mutual concern and interest rather than coming with the traditional, positional, “deal/no deal” approach.

I hope to be a voice for that kind of respectful, constructive, common interest relationship between Union and Management that benefits the workers, the City, and by extension all residents and customers of the City. When that happens, our City and all working in it, will be in a position to excel.

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