Magazine article Anglican Journal

Church House Employees Reject Chance to Join Union

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Church House Employees Reject Chance to Join Union

Article excerpt


By a two-to-one margin Anglican Church House employees have voted to reject the unionization of the national headquarters at 600 Jarvis St.

The June vote followed a slow, quiet campaign by union promoters to join the Service Employees International Union with 1.2 million members in the U.S. and Canada.

Although 108 church house employees below supervisory rank were eligible to vote, only 88 did so. Six votes were challenged and not counted. One vote was spoiled. Of the remaining 81 votes, 27 favoured a union, 54 were opposed.

While expressing disappointment at the result, Dave McKee, who helped spearhead the union campaign, said it delivered a "wake-up call" to management to listen to employee concerns.

Mr. McKee said he is committed to "working constructively to resolve a lot of the grievances which are not going to go away any time soon."

The idea for a union at Church House has been around for at least the four years he has worked there, said Mr. McKee, co-ordinator of Church House Service Section. But it was not until about a year ago that the idea began to take form. And, it was not until January that the formal drive for a union got underway.

Mr. McKee said reaction to a job evaluation process gave impetus to the campaign. "A lot of people were pretty upset about the way things came out of the evaluation process," he said.

While union promoters advanced the benefits of a union, other employees, in an unsigned leaflet, cautioned that while unions work well in places where basic workers' rights are violated, a union at Church House could represent "minimal gains accompanied by great losses. …

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