Letter: FortisBC defends negotiating stance

FortisBC is committed to our employees and customers. We want to see our employees return to work.

To the editor:

Re: FortisBC labour dispute.

A recent letter written by Scott Ross regarding the labour disruption with the IBEW 213 (electric) focused attention on FortisBC’s commitment to balance the needs of our employees and the impact those wages and benefits have on our customer rates.

Throughout the negotiations, FortisBC put forward a market competitive increase for wages and is not seeking changes to benefits.

The wage increase offered is consistent with collective agreements recently reached between FortisBC and other unionized employees including IBEW 213 (gas).

Following union-issued strike notice in May, job action escalated.

When the IBEW indicated employees in the control centre for our electric system would walk off the job, we took action to protect our customers by activating our Essential Services Order (ESO) to maintain safety and system reliability.

Unfortunately, the only way the company can activate the ESO is to serve a lockout notice to the union which we did on June 26.

Since then, we’ve actively pursued the union to join us at the bargaining table.

We thought we had an opportunity to reach an agreement in mediation held Aug. 21 with the assistance of mediator Vince Ready.

FortisBC tabled an offer exceeding what the union was looking for in wages in exchange for productivity enhancements.

The IBEW 213 essentially presented its prior offer and was not flexible in discussing the company’s proposal to reach an agreement for our employees.

Market competitive compensation is applied across the organization.

Compensation for the executive and all company managers is evaluated by a third party, and set at the median.

FortisBC is committed to our employees and customers. We want to see our employees return to work. And when the union is available to negotiate, we are prepared to return to bargaining and reach an agreement.

Joyce Wagenaar,

communications

director,

FortisBC

 

Just Posted

Top 5 places to take your dog in Kelowna

Here are our top five places to take your furry friend

COSAR makes Kelowna Law Day debut

The search and rescue team was on scene as Girl Guides were arrested left and right

Kelowna woman runs to beat hunger

Teri Kanner is collecting donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

Battle of the concert bands in Lake Country

The annual Concert Band competition is held at Creekside Theatre April 24 to 26

Snoozed through the news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, the Capital News will feature popular stories from the week

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

VIDEO: 33 Oliver-area homes evacuated due to flooding

Flooding in the Sportsman Bowl area has swelled drastically over course of one week

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read