August 23, 2018
To: All OPEIU Local 407 members:
Our eighth bargaining session with Bristow, seeking improvements to our existing Collective Bargaining Agreement has concluded. Your Union and Company representatives met Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week in Lafayette, Louisiana.
We began once again with lively discussions, this time concerning the Company’s investigation of discussions in our Union meetings and the use of Represented Employees in the Event Review Group. It is our position that the ERG has no place in the disciplinary process. We have language in our Collective Bargaining Agreement defining the process, including Just Cause and Progressive Discipline. Whereas the Company says they will continue to ask Represented Employees to sit on this panel, we the Union are suggesting that any member asked to participate respectfully decline. Please review our statement presented to the Company on this matter attached below.
While we are yet unable to reach tentative agreements on Articles 8 (Job Posting) and 16 (Training) we are pleased to report that both sides are working together and are close to achieving an agreeable compromise on these articles. We also had spirited discussions around Article 2 (Recognition), specifically the Company’s ability to contract out our work to replace the Represented Employees with contractors. As this affects economics, it has been mutually decided to become part of the economic package we plan to present at our next session.
In this difficult and critical stage of the negotiation process, the Company wants to believe we have a divided workforce. While we recognize that we have a few members who would rather place everyone’s livelihood strictly in the hands of management, the clear majority of you continue to offer encouragement and support for your Negotiating Team and Executive Board. We will continue to work diligently to reach a result that we can recommend for your acceptance and ratification.
The parties have tentatively scheduled our next bargaining session for October 30th thru November 1st. And as always, we will keep you promptly advised with timely Union Negotiation Updates shortly after each bargaining session.
Your OPEIU Local 407 Bargaining Team