As much as we want to keep the membership informed on negotiation issues, it is inappropriate for Equity to comment on our ongoing negotiations with PACT at this point. The negotiation process is confidential because openness and idea-sharing at the bargaining table leads to resolution and a successful conclusion for both sides. We are in the very nascent stage of our 19 planned days of CTA bargaining. During negotiations we will first communicate with your Council as needed, and then to the membership, when we either reach a negotiated agreement or an impasse. Council as a whole will be asked to weigh in on an issue if needed.
The makeup of any negotiating committee is unique. This is one of the most important volunteer roles a member can ever take on. We always try to have a Councillor available. There are other conditions for putting together a committee as well. A negotiation team member must have recent and ideally extensive experience working under the agreement.
An ideal participant is rational, level headed, experienced and has a large circle of colleagues whom we can reach out to if we need to check in on some issues during the process. Of course, we must also have representatives from all the disciplines on an as needed basis. I believe we have assembled a CTA negotiation core team that reflects these qualities.
As a side note: it's not appropriate to have a member of a negotiation team who also engages members, particularly if they engage under the agreement in question or a mirror agreement. Some people may think that it is helpful to have an engager on our side to better understand their side of the table, however it is our job to be well acquainted with the concerns of our bargaining partners.
It is also not appropriate to have a team member focused on a single or very personal issue, and of course I am not inclined to bring anyone on to a team who has been angry or hostile towards Equity or towards the engager.
It is my firm belief that even given the upheaval of PACT's rejection of last year's negotiated agreement, I have faith that staff and your team will do its best on behalf of the membership.