After a year of collective bargaining, the TWU, ETC National Local 1944, reached an interim agreement with Telus in early October. The local bargaining committee held membership meetings across Canada in October and early this month to discuss the interim collective agreement and vote on the interim settlement. Ballot papers were counted on November 23 and 68% of the votes voted in favour of approval. The new agreement has a six-year mandate, with lump sum payments to members after ratification and a 2% wage increase for each of the last three years of the agreement. Telus Communications Inc. /Telecommunications Workers` Union is an appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court order that overturned an arbitrator`s decision upholding the Union`s complaint that it has the right to obtain from the employer all applications from workers under the collective accommodation agreement to remedy a medical disability. There are clearly circumstances in which union involvement is beneficial to the employer. In many workplaces, collective agreements provide for joint housing committees, favourable to unions and employers, that have housing management practices and procedures. The union can often help move the accommodation process when the applicant has difficulty communicating directly with the employer. In many accommodation cases, the union may face issues affecting the collective agreement. There may therefore be practical reasons why the employer wishes to involve the union in housing applications, but probably not all housing that is routine in many workplaces.
Despite very significant profits in recent years, Telus has, on the whole, channelled significant economic benefits to company executives and shareholders. Membership in Local 1944 provides the quality service that Telus customers depend on and, through them, they will continue to insist that treatment be fair. The union will ensure that Telus complies with the terms of the agreement and will not accept any offence detrimental to its members. VANCOUVER – More than 10,000 members, etc. across Canada, work for telus customer service, call center, network support, installation and repair.