At ACTRA, bargaining is all about strategy and leveraging our collective power to always get the best possible deal for members. Solidarity is the key to our power and plays a huge role in helping us succeed.
After last’s weeks ratification of the NCA renewal, the bargaining team is focused on preparations for upcoming bargaining with the ICA and ACA to get a fair deal to bring back to the membership. Until that happens, we ask that you continue engaging and stand in solidarity with your bargaining team.
This is an important time in the life of the union, and we are committed to keeping ACTRA membership informed as we move forward collectively. On July 11-14 we will go into another customary blackout while at the bargaining table. This blackout covers negotiations only and does not hamper us from continuing to share information on the fight to end the lockout, the boycott of union busting brands and other work of the union. While we negotiate, it is important to keep the pressure on the ICA and advertising agencies that continue to lock out ACTRA performers. When these four dates are finished we will report back to ACTRA members.
“In my experience, a communication blackout is not only customary but essential to facilitating blunt and productive conversations that can actually expedite the process of getting to an agreement, particularly on contentious issues,” said Marie Kelly, ACTRA National Executive Director.
“During negotiations, sharing our strategy, proposals, pressure points and tactics would put our members at a significant disadvantage at the bargaining table,” added Kelly, who serves as ACTRA’s lead negotiator.
Our lead negotiator is not alone in her views. It is the cornerstone of almost every set of negotiations in North America and widely viewed as a key element of labour negotiations.
“The parties need to have a mutual understanding about the confidentiality of discussions at the bargaining table,” wrote John Sanderson and William Cole in “The Art of Collective Bargaining,”
In their textbook they explain that when confidentiality is breached during negotiations, employers “will hesitate to engage in open and frank conversations. Negotiation leaks will have a chilling effect on the negotiation process and will make future progress and agreement much more difficult.”
In Vancouver this week, members of a newly established UBCP/ACTRA organizing committee launched an in-person outreach campaign to non-union performers. On Tuesday, they were on the ground training member organizers who are speaking to non-union performers at callbacks and networking events hosted by UBCP/ACTRA. Over the next few weeks, they will continue this work to talk to non-members about collective power, and what our union can do for them.
Let’s keep engaged and committed to ending this unprecedented and unnecessary lockout of ACTRA members!