Feb 21 2009

Bargaining Update, Feb 16th, 2009

Category: News,Post-strike Discussion (2009)jonnyj @ 12:50 pm

From Matthew Hayter:

And now it’s time for everyone’s favourite update… – a bargaining update!

There is not much new to report. The Bargaining Team has met only a few times in the weeks since the State bailed out the capitalist infrastructure and forced us back to work. The main news is that we have a more concrete timeline for arbitration.

The binding arbitration process works like this: We have a “mediated-arbitration” date – where the arbitrator acts like the mediator previously did, trying to get the parties to agree voluntarily on the remaining issues. This mediated-arbitration date is set for February 25th. After that, when/if the parties cannot resolve the remaining issues, we have a month or so to prepare a brief on each of the outstanding issues. These briefs include any and all arguments we can make, comparisons to other sector locals, histories of the situation at York, information about York’s operating procedures and budget, etc. The York administration will do likewise, and then we will trade briefs so that both parties have the opportunity to produce counter-arguments based on what the other has said.We  have tentative dates for this process to be completed around the end-of-March/beginning-of-April. The arbitrator will eventually make a final decision based on this exchange.

The main criteria that the arbitrator will use has been set out in the Back-to-Work Legislation – it basically states, in four or five different manners, that “money” is the determining factor: Can York pay? – What is the climate of the economy? – What is the normative standard for capitalist wage-slavery? – What counts as “acceptable poverty”? – etc… Then next main criteria is based on maintaining the normative standard for equivalent unions in the University sector: If our demands would bring us up to a standard level, then it is much more likely the arbitrator will rule in our favour. Arbitrator apparently are loath to award anything that involves new language or break-through gains – this is at least because they must continue to work in an environment where their jobs depend on perpetuating the status quo, and they don’t want to intrude on the employer-worker determination of their own Collective Agreement. sic: we can see in this process how the labour-relations machinery operates selectively to intrude/not-intrude, depending on whether it supports the capitalist system:

e.g.  intrude when the employer-worker relationship is not reproducing normative standards, as in – The State says: “the strike has gone on long enough…, Collective Bargaining has failed, yada yada yada…”
do-not-intrude when the employer-worker relations are self-perpetuating of the mechanisms of capitalist-reproduction, as in “the Collective Bargaining process is sacred and should be relied upon to resolve the sticky issues, we won’t determine anything for the parties as long as they determine things for themselves within the acceptable boundaries, yada yada yada…”

At some point in the near future we may try to get some research help with creating these briefs. There maybe should be some committee work that we will organize for this.

That’s the update (along with impromptu some op-ed)… yada yada yada…


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