Lifewise Continues Negotiation With E Tu
Lifewise has been in bargaining with E Tu for a collective agreement for Homecare workers for some 18 months. Whilst Covid and the lockdown, together with funding constraints, have made our financial situation very tight, we believe that we have offered fair and reasonable conditions to our employees.
We have therefore been disappointed that employees have chosen to strike on multiple occasions over the past two months whilst placing conditions on their willingness to continue negotiations. It is also disappointing that despite the protracted strike action that has occurred, the Union has now claimed the employer’s actions in issuing lockout notices (the equivalent of strike notices) amounts to “bullying”.
In relation to the union’s challenge to the lockout notices, we consider that their claims are baseless and that the lockout notices are perfectly legitimate. However we do not want to be distracted at this point by challenges to the lockout notices, when the real issue is settling a collective agreement.
Therefore today we have withdrawn the lockout notices disputed by the union. At the same time we have reissued further lockout notices, together with a new collective agreement offer which we consider addresses some of the issues that the union has raised. This will allow union members further time for consideration of our offer. Our hope is that a pragmatic approach is now taken and we can reach a settlement and move forward.