Talks break down: KSCU, union set for job action

Both the USW and KSCU were not able to reach agreement on the outstanding issues. Both sides are now preparing for job action.

  • Oct. 26, 2016 7:00 p.m.

Barry Coulter

Following a return to the table on Thursday and Friday last week, and Monday this week, both the United Steelworkers and Kootenay Savings Credit Union were not able to reach agreement on the outstanding issues. Both sides are now preparing for job action.

KSCU and the USW Locals 9705 and 1‐405 have been in negotiations for close to a year, have met many times to negotiate a renewed collective agreement, and have engaged the assistance of a mediator. On Friday morning, both parties were in legal strike position and legal lock-out position.

Talks continued last week, and the union rejected the company’s final offer put forward on Monday October 24, according to a press release from KSCU.

“Kootenay Savings’ Board of Directors and Senior Management Team stand firmly behind the efforts of its Negotiating Team” said Kootenay Saving CEO Brent Tremblay. “They have worked very hard to help address the Union’s demands and find mutually acceptable resolutions to our key issues within the parameters of the mandate they were given.”

According to the USW, still outstanding is the pension protection language.

“We thought we had a route to finding a resolution,” said Dean Lott, lead negotiator for the union. “Otherwise we have also offered to get back together should something happen and resolve the issue should any changes put KSCU in a financial untenable position.”

“The Credit Union Pension Plan is in good financial shape. The Trustees have made changes during the latest valuation (September 30, 2016) that has vastly improved the position of the plan. The employer is stuck on what may happen, what if’s, and no one has a crystal ball.”

“We’re proposing being partners in this if there’s a problem and KSCU’s future is affected. The employer doesn’t agree. They aren’t willing to cover the liability that the current language states they must.”

Tremblay said that “unlike other employers who may control decisions regarding their pension plans, Kootenay Savings belongs to a multiemployer plan where all decisions regarding the Plan are made by a Board of Trustees. Out of 25 credit unions participating in the BC Credit Union Defined Pension Plan, we are the only one with collective agreement language that holds us to unlimited financial liability for any changes the Trustees may make to plan benefits. These changes are out of our control, yet we are bound by their decisions.

In these negotiations, Kootenay Savings has proposed to fund a very lucrative supplemental retirement allowance on an annual basis to provide another layer of protection to employees, in the event of future changes if they were to occur. This fund is in addition to a rich retirement allowance that we provided to Defined Benefit Pension Plan participants in 2011. These additional benefits are unprecedented for credit unions, and no other credit union provides anything to the other 3000+ plan members in the same pension plan, including those of the other Kootenay region credit union employees represented by the Steelworkers.

The USW said that also outstanding is the issue of wages; working hours for the new Member Service Center; vacation allotment and scheduling along with improvements to the employee banking benefits provision.

The USW Locals in Trail and Cranbrook will be communicating with members at the branches as to the next steps. The Union will be proceeding with a work-to-rule campaign that could ultimately lead to a work stoppage. “We certainly appreciate the Credit Union members’ patience during this process and any possible work stoppage,” said Lott.

Tremblay said that KSCU remains committed to successfully concluding a new collective agreement, and are ready and willing to meet with the Union at any time.

“Unfortunately, over the last few days at some of our unionized locations, employees have begun activities that could be considered strike action. We are closely monitoring these activities in an effort to minimize disruption to our members.”

Tremblay said that electronic services, online, phone and mobile banking, along with ATMs, remain available and fully operational throughout this time. Visit kscu.com for more information

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Road construction, repaving programs well underway

Local road construction and repaving work continue apace, as summer programs get… Continue reading

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Most Read