President’s Message (October 17, 2017): Bargaining Collectively

On October 5, members of the Interlake Teachers’ Association Executive took part in the annual day of training. This year, that training focused on bargaining and the bargaining process.  This is the final year of the Collective Agreement between the Interlake Teachers’ Association and the Interlake School Division. As such, we take this year to prepare for a new round of collective bargaining. Our Collective Bargaining Chair will lead that process. In due course, you will be seeing a call for volunteers to serve on the Collective Bargaining Steering Committee (CBSC) and, later, the Collective Bargaining Table Team. The CBSC creates the opening package; the Table Team sits in negotiations with the ISD Board. The important thing to remember is that this is collective bargaining. We are in this together: practically, philosophically, and legally. Bargaining collectively allows us to operate from a position of strength. When we sit down at the table with ISD representatives, we are sitting down as equals; both parties are legally required to negotiate in good faith. The collective is the only method for bargaining with the employer.  There is no vehicle in this system for individual members to make side deals. Almost all local associations, including the ITA, have agreements with the employer that affect single employees; the important part of these agreements is that they were made through the collective process. The Interlake Teachers’ Association is a strong collective. We are principals, vice-principals, clinicians, and teachers. Through monitoring our current Collective Agreement and through negotiations, the wages and working conditions of the members of our collective will always be top of mind.