VANCOUVER, BC – The IATSE continues to move forward with progressive initiatives, and one Vancouver local union has been a leader. The Arts & Cultural Workers Union, IATSE B778 has finally concluded 14 months of first collective agreement negotiations with Gallery Gachet, a progressive employer with a focus on artist empowerment and social justice.
In addition to wage increases of 12.5% over 3 years and the recognition of Truth and Reconciliation Day as a holiday, both parties have agreed to the inclusion of a “Discipline Circle,” which is rooted in Indigenous culture and customs. Language in the new agreement reads, “The Employer and the Union share a commitment to decolonization, anti-oppressive, anti-patriarchal, anti-capitalist, and anti-carceral forms of organization. As such, formal procedures do not need to be invoked when a rule is broken, or a standard is not met. Informal advice and knowledge sharing are the most effective ways for the Employer to deal with issues of work discipline.” The Discipline Circle provides a more equal footing for all, as it is comprised equally of union and employer designates. If the employee is from an equity-seeking group, the employer and the union will endeavour to include people from the same ethnic, cultural, national, or gender background as the employee. To participate, all parties agree to abide by any decision – which must be unanimous. If the Discipline Circle’s decision is not unanimous, the parties revert to standard union procedures.
“This is ground-breaking,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb, “and serves to illustrate how the labour movement can be leaders in the Truth and Reconciliation process. I congratulate Local B778 and Gallery Gachet on this step and hope that more of our local unions will work to negotiate similar language into their agreements.”
IATSE International Representative Julia Neville led the negotiations. “The Discipline Circle was important to Gallery Gachet workers and I’m glad that this employer recognized its value as an alternative discipline method. It reflects their shared commitment to intersectional Anti-Oppression and Indigenous Reconciliation, and is a collaborative tool for resolving workplace issues .”