Talks stall; USW prepares for job action
Following a return to the bargaining table on Thursday and Friday last week, and Monday this week, both the United Steelworkers (USW) Locals 1-405 and 9705 and Kootenay Savings Credit Union (KSCU) were not able to reach agreement on outstanding issues.
On Friday morning (Oct. 21), both parties were in legal strike position and legal lockout position.
Still outstanding is the pension protection language, an Oct. 24 USW bargaining bulletin stated.
“We thought we had a route to finding a resolution,” said Dean Lott, lead negotiator for the union. “Otherwise we have also offered to get back together should something happen and resolve the issue should any changes put KSCU in a financial untenable position.”
“The Credit Union Pension Plan is in good financial shape. The trustees have made changes during the latest valuation (September 30) that has vastly improved the position of the plan. The employer is stuck on what may happen, what if’s, and no one has a crystal ball,” he said, adding, “We’re proposing being partners in this if there’s a problem and KSCU’s future is affected. The employer doesn’t agree. They aren’t willing to cover the liability that the current language states they must.”
Also outstanding is the issue of wages; working hours for the new Member Service Centre; vacation allotment and scheduling along with improvements to the employee banking benefits provision, the USW said.
The USW Locals in Trail and Cranbrook will be communicating with our members at the branches as to the next steps. The union will be proceeding with a work-to-rule campaign that could ultimately lead to a work stoppage, the union explained.
“We certainly appreciate the Credit Union members’ patience during this process and any possible work stoppage,” said Lott.
KSCU has a branch in Kimberley.