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A definition of job security

This group moderates their own board. Notify them of any issues. Is job action the wisest choice? What is our objective ?

Moderator: Koot

Miles
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Postby Miles » Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:40 am

No, scab that is not what I was suggesting.

I will give you an example of what Telus could legally do. By no means am I suggesting it is going to happen. It does concern me that the offer has loopholes and I don't understand the need for the crafty language.

The scenario you suggest I believe has happened at Bell. Where they traded wages to keep their jobs from being outsourced. I believe it was a Telus rep that said that. But not what I was suggesting...


I will use I&R as an example. CSR's and I&R's are where my concerns are primarily



10 yr employee. 2 kids in school. Wife is a nurse. 6 years left on mortgage, Hicktown AB

Telus contracts out I&R to 'techcomp' because they have a two week training course to use a tool or new system Telus employee's have not been trained with.

Telus offers to retrain employee for CSR position in Ontario.

Employee cannot move his family and is forced to quit. No buy out

Trained tech looks for new job and 'techcomp' is mass hiring all the former Telus installers and providing a two week training course for journeymen


Telus six months later buys out 'techcomp'


Same employee is doing the same job for Telus. Making ten dollars less an hour, no union rep or grievances, poor pension and benefits.




There are a thousand more scenarios that could happen. There is also precedent of this happening in the States. Especially in IT. The goal of a negotiated agreement is to outline what could happen and detail the response.



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Postby Wwood » Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:12 am

No, scab that is not what I was suggesting.

I will give you an example of what Telus could legally do. By no means am I suggesting it is going to happen. It does concern me that the offer has loopholes and I don't understand the need for the crafty language.

The scenario you suggest I believe has happened at Bell. Where they traded wages to keep their jobs from being outsourced. I believe it was a Telus rep that said that. But not what I was suggesting...


I will use I&R as an example. CSR's and I&R's are where my concerns are primarily



10 yr employee. 2 kids in school. Wife is a nurse. 6 years left on mortgage, Hicktown AB

Telus contracts out I&R to 'techcomp' because they have a two week training course to use a tool or new system Telus employee's have not been trained with.

Telus offers to retrain employee for CSR position in Ontario.

Employee cannot move his family and is forced to quit. No buy out

Trained tech looks for new job and 'techcomp' is mass hiring all the former Telus installers and providing a two week training course for journeymen


Telus six months later buys out 'techcomp'


Same employee is doing the same job for Telus. Making ten dollars less an hour, no union rep or grievances, poor pension and benefits.




There are a thousand more scenarios that could happen. There is also precedent of this happening in the States. Especially in IT. The goal of a negotiated agreement is to outline what could happen and detail the response.
Miles, if the company wanted to outsource I&R thay could have done it already with regards to TelusTV, even on the trial rollout. I guess you haven't noticed all the I&R people they are hiring. I have made the suggestion before and I'll make it again, get BB to recognize the offer and have his bargaining committee add a short sentence after the outsourcing clause that all jobs not written as noncore are core. The only way parts of I&R will be outsourced is if the union continues to keep good people out on the street, giving the company no choice.



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Postby !(a.scab) » Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:13 am

Hmmm... well, that is interesting - and even sounds plausible, for companies with less protective contracting language than what TELUS is offering.

I'm going to take you scenario at face value, but I do want some clarification before I respond in full -

1.) TELUS has defined and subsequently reiterated that I&R is a core function that will not be contracted out. But let's pretend for the sake of this exercise that this is not the case.

2.) TELUS has stated that only 40 jobs in Alberta are on the table for contracting out. Every one of those positions is very low on the wage scale. I'd think Mr. Example from Hicktown would be elated at the prospect of a higher paying job, regardless of location - but let's just pretend for the sake of this example that he's not.

3.) Was the CSR position in Ontario the ONLY one available? TELUS has offered to make every effort to find replacement employment for displaced workers. I'd be very, very surprised if they didn't have ANYTHING else to offer - but let's just say for the sake of this exercise that they didn't.

4.) Not sure why Mr. Example "can't" move, the wife's job is certainly portable enough, and as for the kids, well, my family moved because of my dad's job 12 times before I had reached grade 10 and I think I turned out fine... and so did my friends from military families who every two years they seemed to be displaced somewhere where they had to learn a whole new language just to fit in... but anyway, for the sake of this example, let's just pretend that he CAN'T move, even if it means losing his job.

5.) As mentioned in #2, the only jobs that are on the table for contracting out are the really poor paying jobs anyway - I can't believe that there isn't any other job in all of Hicktown that would pay as much if not nearly as much as the a coin-roller - especially since the town's big enough to have a branch of "TechComp" there but, since we're pretending that he's an I&R installer and making a decent wage, I suppose we can stretch a bit further and pretend that nobody in all of Hicktown is hiring... except for Techcomp...

6.) If TELUS REALLY had nothing else to offer, AND Mr. Example couldn't move, then fortunately for him, the TELUS offer that's currently on the table also says that he's got the choice to take a 'generous' buyout as one of his options for being a displaced employee - in fact, he's also got the option to be retrained for ANY TELUS job that is currently posted, but, for the sake of this argument, let's say there's not a single TELUS job posted anywhere other than Ontario. The option still remains for him to take the generous buyout package.

7.) Hell, we're already calling the sky green, the grass red, the clouds orange and the oceans white, so why not... yeah, why not say that there's some freaky loophole that prevents Mr. Example from getting the buyout...

8.) So if all of the stars were in allignment and this nightmare actually manifested itself, Mr. Example actually has nothing to worry about. Why? Because all he has to do is hit the big "go" button on the Infinite Improbability Drive, he'll instantly turn into a penquin or a fruitcake or the like - allowing his family to collect the $100,000,000 insurance policy that they didn't even know he had purchased mere seconds before he vanished forever, leaving only a marvelously delicious (well, the dog seemed to like it...) fruitcake in his stead.



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Postby green1 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:23 am

first I'd like to say that I don't believe the union fear mongering that my job is at risk, or that TELUS has any intention of outsourcing I&R jobs now or anytime in the future, HOWEVER I will answer this as if the scenario proposed above were to happen. if TELUS were to go through that convoluted process and get the techs to earn $10 less per hour what is to stop the tech from going to the competition? shaw is hiring... and if the tech can make more there he will, TELUS needs to keep the wages and benefits attractive or they will loose the employees, and while I agree that Daren doesn't care about an individual employee, he does care about the business, you don't pay someone that much with the hope that they will destroy the company, so it is in the company's best interest to keep the employees happy enough that they retain a tallented workforce.

as a side note, every person I have ever talked to, or heard about who has worked for any company and had their job contracted out to themselves has ended up making MORE money, not less as a contractor... (I'm not saying there are no exceptions to this, but I have talked to a lot of people in that situation and none have been making less than they were as full employees)



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Postby Miles » Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:32 am

Green, I am not trying to fear monger, nor do I represent the union. I was trying to point out how a loophole could be used and not suggesting it was going to happen.

I do think too much work will be outsourced, but it is an opinion. I worry most about OP SRVC


I just am getting tired of the job security rhetoric and accusations that the people trying to make sure their are not mass exoduses of jobs are lazy and worried about our own job. You accept that there are loopholes and you have faith in the companies intentions. That is respectable and I have no qualms with it.

If more on both sides thought like this, the entire debate would be framed differently and not by the semantics




just my 2 cents and in respect,



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Postby !(a.scab) » Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:36 am

I'm with Mile on that one - we spend more time arguing about semantics than the real issues... to me, that means there aren't really enough REAL issues to argue about, so we resort to the 'what if this language meant this!' routine...



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Postby Koot » Thu Sep 15, 2005 12:17 pm

:D I actually got a call from Bruce Bell, because of the highly accusatory letter I send him. He did ask me what my job was and when I responded with I&R his first remark was " They won't contract that one out"
Telus has hired about 450 new I&R people in the last year alone.
I agree with the statement that Darren does not give a damm about me personaly, but he does care about the business and it is bad business to outsource your own work. In our case that is the telephone work. Stick to what you are good at and contract out what you are not good at.



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Postby green1 » Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:20 pm

Koot:
he does care about the business and it is bad business to outsource your own work. In our case that is the telephone work. Stick to what you are good at and contract out what you are not good at.
This is what the company has been saying since day one, and while I don't think that they are angels with nothing to hide, this is a point I do believe them on.

I'm curious, apart from that, what did Bell have to say? any brilliant insights in to this whole mess? plans for getting us out of it?



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Postby Miles » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:55 am

I'm with Mile on that one - we spend more time arguing about semantics than the real issues
I really wonder who you think I was referring to :shock:



Green and Koot:We'd probably all agree Bell is in a stalemate and has been since the offer was implemented. They can hope for special mediation or arbitration. Or they can accept the offer.

I'm not optimistic that either of these will happen and believe it will drag on until the union can't afford to fight anymore. my o2 cents


About outsourcing: Koot, I thought your letter was a company shill from the onset and apologize.
I agree with the statement that Darren does not give a damm about me personaly, but he does care about the business and it is bad business to outsource your own work. In our case that is the telephone work. Stick to what you are good at and contract out what you are not good at.
I think this applies to any craft, clerical or administrative position at Telus. While the union does have the responsibility to fight for better language, they have misrepresented these job titles to their members in regards to outsourcing and continue to do so.


Reading the offer though, it's pretty apparent there are some intentions to consolidate some 'core services' around the contracted work and Telus has misrepresented this

There are several BU job titles that do not fit the business model and could be contracted out at with minimal customer impact. Most of these titles are outsourced by the competition.

Customer service would actually be improved by consolidated into large centers in wage friendly provinces. It would decrease churn and improve training levels.

Facts are that Mr. Entwistle is very smart and has been hell bent on getting the language he wants. Telus did a truly amazing job of undercutting the union and enforcing that language in AB.


I don't pay attention to Bell because i can't grasp his iportance, the ferociousness of the company has made me question what this is all about. Certainly not coinrollers and painters.

If you have time, i'm curious what your opinions are of this koot and green. Do you think that if Telus is successful, the landscape of the company will change by allocating the funds saved by contracting for re-deployments and consolidations of core work?



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Postby Koot » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:09 pm

:D I am afraid that Mr. Bell did not have much more insight to share with me than that. He did however tell me that the purposely crafted a counteroffer for the company to reject out of hand. And so they did.
This was done according to Bruce Bell so we would not jeopardize our bargaining position. The wisdom of that was lost on me. It seemed to me that actually coming up with a counter offer that addressed some of the companiy's concerns would make more sense. I always thought that bargaining was to come closer together and find middle ground.
One thing did give me a glimmer of hope and that was that Bruce Bell agreed that the old BCtel contract was gone, but nowwe are trying to save some items out of it. So at least they have come to the realization that we have to adjust out position.



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Postby green1 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:58 pm

I'll start by admitting that I've never been much of a union person... however I don't believe everything the company says either, I believe in doing the research, reading as much info as I can, and making an informed decision.

I'm afraid that the union is stuck in the 1950s and is not adapting as they need to to make this work, I also believe that they are not listening to their members (no matter who you believe on the numbers game there are still thousands of bargaining unit workers who are at work, obviously the union can't say that it represents their wishes. I know you can't satisfy everyone all the time but the union certainly doesn't make it known that they care about us, they don't do a very good job of giving us information, and I personally don't think a strike vote taken over a year ago before anyone saw TELUS' proposal should be considered valid (a lot has changed in the time since that strike vote)

All this being said, the only way I see this dispute ending anytime in the near future is if the government intervenes (which I'll give the union credit for trying to arrange) but I think we should be carefull here, who's to say that binding arbitration would come out in our favour?

No matter who "wins" or how this all ends, I think this will be a very different company at the end of it, and with a little luck, a very different union too. I wonder how many will be left to work here though, I know I'm certainly thinking of a career change....



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Postby Miles » Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:26 am

All this being said, the only way I see this dispute ending anytime in the near future is if the government intervenes (which I'll give the union credit for trying to arrange) but I think we should be carefull here, who's to say that binding arbitration would come out in our favour?
We discussed this in another thread. I can't see how binding arbitration would not come out in our favour unless Telus came in and lowballed their position.

If this happened it would tell me that the offer was laced financially for a reason. The contract itself actually reads 'your pay after...' That striks me a lot more like marketing than bargaining



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Postby green1 » Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:40 pm

depends what you mean by "in our favour"... as far as the union has said, the only 2 clauses they are really truly worried about, and will not move on, are mandatory overtime and contracting out, which are the same 2 clauses that the company says are ones they will not move on. who's to say that the arbitor would pick the TWU's language on those 2? they are obviously pretty convinced of it, but I am not so sure... I figure at best the union would get one of those 2... not likely both



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Postby Miles » Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:59 am

depends what you mean by "in our favour"... as far as the union has said, the only 2 clauses they are really truly worried about, and will not move on, are mandatory overtime and contracting out, which are the same 2 clauses that the company says are ones they will not move on. who's to say that the arbitor would pick the TWU's language on those 2? they are obviously pretty convinced of it, but I am not so sure... I figure at best the union would get one of those 2... not likely both

In 'our favour' means the workers. Not Telus or the TWU.


I think any arbitrator(s) would cleary see that both sides are asking for non compromise and one sided language.



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Postby green1 » Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:41 am

I agree that they would not likely pick "TELUS" or "TWU"' side, however their job is to balance our demands as workers (as represented by the TWU) against TELUS demands as our employer, the result would probably be different from what the company is now offering, but would it be something that we would have accepted if it were not binding?

I'm not saying that the company is definitely in the right here, I'm just saying that I think the TWU is putting a little bit too much faith in the binding arbitration solution and that there really is no garuntee that it will be any better than a properly negotiated solution (which is something that I truly believe neither side has done anything to achieve)




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