July 2013 Update
Progress is being made implementing the provisions of the 2011 National Agreement. A uniform approach has been developed for all Branches, all PTF’s in 200 man year offices will soon be converted to regular, and we have filed grievances which seek to identify the route which MHA’s will be taking on what the arbitrator called their “path to career employment.”
Much of this involves delving into areas where the new contract is unclear. Internally within Local 323 we sometimes call this “wringing the language.” That phrase likens the process to wringing a damp towel in order to get out every drop. This process involves considering every plausible contractual interpretation so that we ensure our Membership receives the maximum benefit from the efforts expended to secure the new contract. Not surprisingly, when these arguments are presented to management in the form of a grievance, they often disagree.
In implementing the provisions of a new National Agreement the Local Union does not operate in a vacuum. Quite often I’ll seek input from our Regional Director or a Representative from the National Contract Administration Department. It is only by working with all levels of the Union that the unclear or grey areas of the National Agreement become black and white.