Before the Bargaining Table: How Local 387 made gains for precarious workers

Source: Jordana Feist​, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Tabletalk blog, May 16, 2017

As a researcher, I regularly read the agreements that come into the office. Sometimes, it makes for encouraging reading – like when I read about the changes negotiated in the latest round of bargaining between CUPE Local 387 and the City of New Westminster in BC.

Their new agreement featured a long list of improvements, including:
– Provisions to reduce the use of seasonal workers by converting workers in that classification to regular full-time employees over two years.
– Benefits for all temporary full-time and temporary part-time workers.
– Two new letters of understanding addressing the issues around the auxiliary workforce and continuing the work to convert those positions to regular part-time and regular full-time.
– Benefit improvements and wage increases.

These would be excellent outcomes in any day, but Local 387 achieved all this in a climate where employers are pushing the use of temporary and seasonal workers and trying to restrict their access to health and benefit plans.

How did they get there? ….