Bargaining, Sledgehammers and the Walnuts

We met with BCC the other day to continue negotiations.
We talked about matters relating mainly to the flexible rostering proposal and how they might impact on people subject to current local area agreements. Essentially these are matters that relate to members other than those who are bus operators/assistants.
There were some proposals floated and relevant unions will be discussing those matters with their members to get a gauge on whether they might be the basis for ongoing discussions.
We went through the various log items to get a gauge on where the various items were at which provided no new information, it was more an auditing task.
The issue of the grossly disproportionate response to some ETU members proposing bans was raised. All unions expressed surprise that Council would retaliate to what amounts to limited industrial action with a wholesale lockout of those involved.
For those who are unfamiliar with the issue, the ETU proposed bans on some paperwork and other work and in response to that BCC decided to issue a ‘lockout’ notice. That means that if those members decided to institute the bans, BCC would lock them out of their workplace, with no pay.
It’s a legal retaliation but it’s a sledgehammer cracking a walnut approach if ever there was one.
In the bargaining discussion, all unions put the view clearly that where they were considering ramping up industrial campaigns slowly at first, Council’s decision appears to push us towards outright stoppages given their approach to this matter. We will see what emerges over the coming days.
In light of this, it’s a timely reminder that only union members can vote in the ballot for and participate in any industrial action.
It’s also a good time to make sure your address details are up to date with the union office.
As always, your union delegate is the best source of information when it comes to bargaining.
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