REGINA, SK, July 10 – On March 4, 2011, Local 295 filed an application for certification with the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board for all production employees of the Globe Theatre. The 406-seat theatre was founded in 1966 and is the province’s largest professional theatre company. The employer fought the certification and dates were set for both parties to appear before the Labour Board.
After a series of hearings, the Board issued its decision in favour of Local 295 and rejected efforts by the employer both to disqualify the department heads and to include props builders who had worked at the venue previously and in a limited capacity. On October 12, 2011, the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board issued Local 295 the certification for all production employees at the Globe. Negotiations for a first collective agreement were scheduled to begin in December.
Prior to the start of negotiations, the relationship got off to a rocky start after one of the department heads was fired. Eventually, an arbitrator was engaged to settle that issue. Negotiations continued during this time, but broke down when Local 295 rejected the Globe’s final offer and alerted the bargaining unit that it would be holding a strike vote. The arbitrator’s final decision was in favour of the union, and the fired employee was re-instated, with back pay.
The Globe eventually withdrew its final offer and the parties resumed negotiations. On April 25, 2012, two hours before the strike vote was to take place, an agreement was concluded. The three-year agreement includes increases to wages for both full- and part-time employees, a benefit plan and the implementation of progressive discipline. On June 25, the employees of the Globe voted unanimously, by secret ballot, to ratify their first collective agreement.