REPORT ON NL/NB WRITING BARGAINING DEMANDS TRAINING

Newfoundland Labrador and New Brunswick

The NL/NB Region held their Writing Bargaining Demands training during the period of 21 – 22 Apr 2010 at the Delta Beausejour in Moncton, NB which provided the opportunity to deliver this training to 18 members (8 PA members, 8 SV members and 2 TC members).

Despite that Local 60303 does have 3 EB members and the Local’s extensive work to try and get one member to attend our Region was unable to ensure participation for the EB Group.  This was also the issue in trying to meet participation of the TC Group despite we have TC members in each of the 4 Locals within our Region.

The makeup of the participants included 3 X Local Presidents (Locals 90102, 90103 and 60303), 4 X 1st VPs (Locals 90101, 90102, 90103 and 60303), 1 X 2nd VP (Local 60303), 1 X CSS (Local 90101), 1 X SS (Local 60303) and a total of 8 members in good standing from each of the 4 Locals.  The makeup also included 2 EAP reps (Local 90102 and 90103) and 3 UNDE Facilitators (Locals 90102, 90103 and 60303).

The decision of which facilitators to use was discussed with Local Presidents who determined they preferred facilitators that had both writing bargaining demands experience as  well as the experience of being at the bargaining tables.  It was felt that bringing the experience of both TB negotiations and CLC negotiations was added value to this training session.   Therefore this training was delivered by Brother Bernie Bolger, President Local 90125 and Sister Debbie Graham, UNDE VP NL/NB.

METHOD
Based upon the Component’s decision to provide each Local with this training, UNDE used the PSAC Learning Activities 1.3 and 1.4 which were well received however the facilitators (Brother Bernie Bolger and Sister Debbie Graham) found the need to include other information.

This did allow for Brother Bernie to share his experiences as well as to identify the difference that they bargain directly with their employer while our TB members have to negotiate with the “bigger picture”, and allowed for Sister Debbie to provide further challenges to our members to ensure our demands could advance rather than be left behind.

It also allowed extensive discussion to recognize the requirement to look further at the demands to ensure whether it was already in place, that the equity lens is used for those proposals not in place and that there was extensive background information already conducted which needed further review to prepare for final bargaining demands submitted by UNDE.

As a final exercise, our training included the opportunity to learn some negotiation skills that was extremely well received.  The exercise consisted of determining how many participants (18) and putting numbers 1 – 18 in a hat.  Each participant drew a number and in that order, they were to approach the table.  The table contained at least the same amount of union “swag”.  The participants were advised to take something they did not want and that once each had something, they were free to negotiate with whoever they needed to, to get what they really wanted.

This exercise was really interesting as a facilitator because we were able to watch negotiations begin even before the members got to select their item as well as to watch the interaction between the participants.

At the end of the exercise, the participants were asked how many got what they wanted, how many times they had to negotiate to get what they wanted and what they actually learned from this exercise.  One member actually negotiated 10 times to get what they wanted while one member was regretful they only negotiated once.  With that, the whole group helped that member to get what they wanted.

The group consensus was that it was great fun and that they learned the importance of strategizing, negotiating and working collectively so that each got what they wanted.

As facilitators, we were able to observe how energized the participants were with this exercise and to see the participants join together collectively to help the one member.

PARTICIPANTS
Local 90101

  1. Brother Randy Saunders
  2. Brother David James
  3. Sister Brenda Hynes

Local 90102

  1. Brother Dennis Sheppard
  2. Brother Glenn Arnold
  3. Brother Chris Grandy
  4. Brother Andrew Mills
  5. Sister Nicole Power

Local 90103

  1. Brother Robert Saunders
  2. Brother Silas Bird
  3. Brother Mike Broomfield

Local 60303

  1. Brother Pat Kilbride
  2. Brother Dan Frost
  3. Brother Joe Lawrence
  4. Sister Angela Ellsworth
  5. Sister Joann Rose
  6. Brother Mike McFarland
  7. Brother Leo McDevitt

RECAP OF FEEDBACK
Learning Activity 1.3
There were two feedback sheets completed for this portion of the training.  The feedback identified the following:

  1. The module was helpful: 2 x yes
  2. The pace: (2 x 3)
  3. The training material: (2 x 3)
  4. Material clear and understandable: (2 x 5)
  5. Discussions –2 x very good
  6. Exercises – 2 x very good
  7. Course Materials – 2 x very good
  8. Facilitators Knowledge – 2 x excellent

No Additional Comments

Learning Activity 1.4
There were sixteen feedback sheets completed for this portion of the training.  The feedback identified the following:

  1. The module was helpful – 16 x yes
  2. The pace: (14 x 3), (2 x 4)
  3. The training material: (16 x 3)
  4. Material clear and understandable: (7 x 3), (4 x 4), (5 x 5)
  5. Discussions: (5 x good), (8 x very good), (3 x excellent)
  6. Exercises: (6 x good), (9 x very good), (1 x excellent)
  7. Course Materials: (6 x good), (6 x very good), (4 x excellent)
  8. Facilitators Knowledge: (8 x very good), (8 x excellent)

Additional Comments

  1. Great course/great people – priceless J
  2. A lot of information to understand and comprehend.  Having the other members gives me the chance to draw from their knowledge when doing this.  Thanks!
  3. A very helpful course.  This info will help Union Solidarity in our Local and build communications.
  4. Very good and knowledgeable facilitators
  5. It was very informative
  6. Great facilitators!
  7. We could have had this training in St. John’s and had a real savings to the Union.
  8. I did not realize what time and research and the levels of the process takes.

CONCLUSION
Overall, both facilitators and participants found this training session to be very good to excellent.  The participants fully participated and enjoyed themselves while learning how to write bargaining demands.

The approximate cost of this training session is $45,000.00 which averages $2,250.00 per participant and facilitator (total of 20).  Money we believe was well spent recognizing the geographical challenges of our Region.

In Solidarity,

Submitted by: Debbie Graham, VP NL/NB