January 2017 Update
As the bedlam of the peak season fades in our review mirror, we look forward to making progress in 2017. At the forefront will be the 2016 National Agreement. It is my hope that every Member exercised their right to vote on this important matter.
The deadline for the receipt of ratification ballots is February 10th and we should know the result within a couple of days. If the contract is ratified, and I believe it will be, the process of implementation will begin. The financial aspects (wage increases, back pay, clothing allowances, etc.) will be handled by adjusting computerized payroll systems. Changes concerning work rules will be implemented at the installation level by your Stewards and Officers.
The process of implementation is followed by the process of enforcement (a.k.a., the grievance procedure). Will this go perfectly? Probably not; there have always been hiccups in the past and I’ve no reason to believe that this time will be different. But, with commitment and persistence, we’ve always achieved our goals.
We’ll know shortly after February 10th whether the contract is ratified or whether we'll be going to arbitration. Personally, I’d like nothing better than to see 2017 become a year of contract implementation and contract enforcement in Local 323.