'DynaLife is failing to respect the most basic collective bargaining rights of hundreds of employees.'
Edmonton (20 April 2009) - The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) has filed a bad faith bargaining complaint against DynaLife Dx over its failure to engage in "sincere and productive" contract negotiations.
The union is also asking the province to appoint a mediator in a bid to get the talks moving.
The complaint was lodged with the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) after a recent five-day resumption of negotiations "proved to be nothing more than a calculated and deliberate waste of time on the part of the employer," says HSAA negotiator Craig Johnston.
"At the outset of the collective bargaining process, DynaLife made proposals designed for rejection. Its proposals sought to strip the existing collective agreement of the most basic features that are found in almost every collective agreement in our province," Johnston notes.
The complaint filed by the union says in part:
"Collective bargaining is not a game. Workers rights to collective bargaining are protected not only by the Alberta Employment Standards Code (AESC) but, as we now know, by the Constitution. Schemes to undermine those rights are contrary to the principles and objects of the Code and must not be tolerated.
"HSAA states that DynaLife is failing to respect the most basic collective bargaining rights of hundreds of employees. HSAA accordingly seeks a range of remedies reserved for the most flagrant Code violators."
HSAA had hoped for significant progress when the parties returned to the bargaining table following a recent recommendation by the province's Mediation Services.
"Regrettably, the additional bargaining sessions proved futile, with only two of 40 article proposals agreed to," the union says.
"On two separate occasions, HSAA requested that DynaLife address the wage issue for the former Dynalife North group of employees, who have received no wage increase for 2008. We asked for retroactive recovery of the 4% wage increase that DynaLife DX granted its employee group in April of 2008. On both occasions DynaLife indicated they were not prepared to deal with the issue at this time. No other reason was given."
HSAA says a "more ominous" position was adopted by DynaLife on job security issues.
"DynaLife is adamantly opposed to a seniority based concept in the event of layoff and recall. DynaLife has repeatedly indicated they should not have to honour the years of loyalty of a long-term employee with DynaLife, who is perfectly capable and qualified of doing the work - if it comes to a layoff situation. DynaLife is insistent on the position that they will decide who they wish to retain, and who they will layoff, in terms of who is the best 'fit', and who has the most 'ability' in their eyes."
HSAA says the talks have also gone nowhere on other key issues, including full-time equivalency (FTE) positions and temporary postings.