Document Type

Arbitration Decision

Publication Date



Interest Arbitration, Cost of living, Collective Agreement, Strike, Union Negotiators


Interest Arbitration relating to cost of living and reopener.

The negotiation of the current collective agreement between the parties, over the spring, summer and early autumn of 1979, was difficult. It involved a four-day strike which was concluded without final agreement on all issues. It was not, however, the understanding of the union's negotiating team that the percentage increase in the consumer price index required to trigger the re­opening of the agreement with respect to wages six months prior to its termination date was one of those issues, although there was some uncertainty about the technicalities in the wording of the re-opener clause. Nevertheless, on what was to have been the eve of the signing of the agreement, after all outstanding minor items supposedly had been cleared up, the union negotiators were confronted with a change in the triggering percentage inserted by City Council itself in the course of approving the agreement negotiated by its bargaining team. The union threatened to go back on strike over this change, but in the end signed a letter of understanding dated October 23, 1979, in the following terms: