New: MGEU Master Negotiations - An Unfortunate Backdrop

August 31, 2023

Unusual developments, in unusual timing circumstances.

Some of you will be aware of some big shifts in negotiations this week. In the interests of transparency and contextual understanding, a high level chronological recap is required.

July 6 - bargaining on monetary proposals begins and normal discussions on language follows in future sessions.

August 22 - As MGEU advised that it was unable to identify monetary priorities, Employer provides a package proposal to narrow the issues for further negotiations.

August 23 and 24 - MGEU cancelled pre-scheduled bargaining sessions to develop a counter-proposal.

August 29 - A counter-proposal from MGEU was not received as expected by the employer. Instead, it advises that early August 22 narrowing offer being taken to employees for a vote with a strong rejection recommendation, and that strike authorization being pursued.

As all of this at odds with earlier understandings, Employer confirms that an enhanced offer would be presented at the pre-scheduled bargaining meeting of August 31.

MGEU confirms that it would proceed as planned, without the August 31 meeting, and concurrently communicates with employees - declares "impasse", provides early August 22 narrowing offer, recommends rejection and confirms strike authorization being sought. This position becomes public, through the media, immediately.

Employer forcefully takes objection to MGEU action given expected good faith bargaining - where MGEU aware of circumstances surrounding August 22 offer, aware that it never provided expected counter-offer, and aware that an enhanced offer was being prepared - before communicating to employees.

August 30 - MGEU advises that it would attend August 31 after all.

August 31 - Employer provides a guaranteed 16.2% total compensation package with direct path to binding arbitration on general wage increases, to fully replace the early August 22 narrowing offer.