Since 2008, the Company and Unifor ACL (formerly CEPACC) have used the interest based process to negotiate and resolve differences through the Common Interest Forum (CIF). The process and participation in CIF has helped to create and maintain a respectful relationship between the parties that has resulted in the negotiation of four (4) collective agreements.
With the privatization of Bell Aliant in 2014 there have been changes to our corporate organizational structure. Given these changes, CIF, both the Company and Unifor ACL participants, jointly agreed at our recent meetings that the current purpose and structure of CIF is not appropriate as we move forward.
With the pending expiry of the Collective Agreement in Atlantic Canada at the end of 2017, we have jointly agreed to use the traditional bargaining forum, commencing in January 2017, with the goal of achieving a new agreement in advance of the expiry date. The Company and Union will continue to work in a collaborative manner to resolve differences. Both parties are committed to maintaining a positive labour relationship in the interest of all employees and the business. CIF committee members agreed to meet at the end of negotiations to reflect on the prospect of resuming an interest based process.
Over the coming months, the four (4) provincial locals will hold their pre-bargaining caucuses in their respective provinces to determine their final list of proposals for the upcoming contract negotiations.