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Bell Canada Field Techs Accept New Contract

For those interested here are the results of the Bell Canada Craft and Services vote results for a new collective agreement:

Number of votes cast: 3262
number to accept: 2405 or 74%
number to reject: 850 or 24%
number of spoiled: 7

71.8% participation

$39 per hour will be the top wage by the end of the agreement.

TORONTO – Bell Canada technicians, members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, have voted by 74% to accept a tentative agreement reached at the end of last month. The results were released earlier today following the counting of ballots from a series of ratification meetings in Ontario and Quebec.

"We were successful in gaining improvements in key areas, notably employment security, early retirement opportunities, and guarantees of hiring new technicians as employees retire.", says Barb Dolan, CEP's Administrative Vice-President for Ontario, noting that the bargaining committee had recommended acceptance of the offer.

Highlights of the agreement include:

A four-year contract with wage increases of 1.5%, 1.75%, 2% and 2%, respectively Stronger job security language for current workers

- early retirement packages

- new employees hired to replace at least 50% of those who chose to retire

- Full-time opportunities for all part-time workers over the term of the agreement

About 170 temporary workers will be re-classified as permanent Increases in per-diems, bereavement leave, among others Improvements in wording that open up job postings to more members

"The union is pleased with the way negotiations took place," adds Dolan. "The climate was much more positive than in previous bargaining rounds, "she says. There was an openness and willingness to move forward and obtain a good collective agreement. It was not always so, and in fact, previous negotiations were very tense."

"A progressive contract such as this one, with gains in job security, and successor rights, is very welcome."

Negotiations have been ongoing since September and the previous agreement expired Nov. 30, 2012.

CEP represents more than 4,500 technicians at Bell, 3,000 of whom work in Ontario and 1,500 in Quebec.

CEP is the largest telecommunications union in Canada.

Not to be confused with Bell Technical Solutions who are on a separate contract and who are not employees of Bell Canada. Their contract expires in 2018 where their top wage will be $29.50 per hour.

This might be a good opportunity for many of the skilled BTS techs to apply to Bell Canada and earn a wage that is much more deserving of what they are currently making should positions open up in the future.

From what I've seen over the years, the number of Bell techs keep shrinking and the number of BTS techs keep growing. More work keeps on transfering to BTS from Bell.

Does this surprise you? The Bell Canada bean counters had this planned out in the early 90s when I still worked for them and they started the ISW deregulation petitions to the CRTC. BTS techs not only gets paid less but they have kept most techs on a short leash as part-time. I'm just surprised they still have that many Bell Canada techs around although most now are on cable repair and business.

If someone had of suggested 10 or 15 years ago there would still be this many Bell Canada techs on staff I would have thought they were crazy!

funny thing is that bell owns bts its a tax writeoff for them

reply to not2sure
More work keeps transferring to BTS but they're not getting paid fairly for what they are doing. They keep getting shafted over and over again.

The local union is absolutely useless in helping their members,well at least the one in Toronto is and it's the biggest local in BTS so you would think there would be better support but they side with management far more than they do with their own membership.

How the hell can you bring back a collective agreement lasting 7 years??? Most techs know the present collective agreement for BTS was put through fraudulently and should have never been accepted. The small group of people involved in ramming the agreement through know the dirty tactics they used and will have to live with their decision. They have very cushy positions currently so I'm sure they're not too concerned about what happens to the rest of the members.

In the meantime, the techs keep getting abused by management, the local union (Toronto) does nothing for them and the cycle keeps repeating. Massive amounts of techs are hired each year and then quit due to the lack of support by both management and their union.

The local union (Toronto) knows what's going on, but they hide and do nothing again and again. It's apparent to many techs in the shops that the local Toronto union is more concerned with making management happy than the techs they represent. They make an appearance once a year at the various work shops for a BBQ and a photo op to make it look like they are doing something but then go back to doing nothing the rest of the year except milking it in their cushy positions.

I should note there are indeed some very good stewards within the Toronto local union who are fighting for the members but soon they will realize if they haven't already it's a lost because their executive is where the problem is. These are the ones siding with management more than they do the members.

The local Toronto union have an annual food drive during Christmas for the needy. Consider that many of their own techs are only making $14.20 per hour and are sitting (no work) regularly I wonder if they stop to think their own members are some of the ones who will be going to the food banks this year.

Considering the majority of BTS field techs are doing almost everything from CO, regular I & R, IPTV I & R, high speed I & R, FTTH installs and repair, local comp and everything in between the wage they get is absolutely shocking!

Top wage is currently $25.49. The majority of techs at BTS are not at top wage. they range from $14.20 to $25.49, yes they are going up now but very slowly and will only see $29.50 in 2018.

There are techs at BTS who are very skilled and excellent at what they do and certainly deserve more than what they are making now. They deserve better treatment than the BS they have to put up with on a daily basis.

I think I would rather take my chances and try my luck with Bell rather than BTS in the future, at least the top wage looks better and considering they just signed a 4 year deal will have the opportunity to sign another deal before the BTS 7 year train wreck is finished. I've been at BTS now for 12 years and think I will apply to Bell should positions start to open up. Who knows what they will be hiring for but I'm sure it will be better than staying at this pretend Bell outfit.

Sorry about being negative but I'm at my wits end with the way this company is run and with the local Toronto union and thought maybe the general public would like to know a little insight into what happens at BTS who are the majority of techs who install and repair your residential voice/Internet/TV services.


I'm with you raffy. I do every single job you mentioned in your 8th paragraph. I am considered to be one of those 'highly skilled' bts techs and after hearing the news of the Bell Craft agreement, I'll be jumping ship first chance I get if I can land in a group I want to work in provided I can take my seniority with me. Eg: xdsl, or fttb.
Opinions and ideas expressed in my post are my own and in no way represent those of Bell Canada Enterprises, Bell Canada, Bell TV, Bell Internet, Bell Mobility, Bell Technical Solutions, Expertech, or any other partners under the BCE umbrella.

reply to Raffy
If you think Local 1996 is screwed up read these cases about Bell Technical Solutions and gorillas and facebook at another BTS local posted in another forum.

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