An Open Letter to Telus Managers

An Open Letter to Telus Managers,

USW Local 1944 is ready and waiting to reopen negotiations with Telus to conclude a fair Collective Agreement. If you are already aware of our position on the issues you can see that we are not asking for anything outrageous: wages that account for the increasing cost of living, some improvements of little cost to Telus, and we’re seeking that Telus drop further concessions to health benefits, pension and other items, which are wholly unnecessary given Telus’ present financial success.

Because the CEO and Labour Relations department are not willing to return to the table, you, as a Team Manager, Ops Manager etc, are left facing an increasingly disgruntled workforce. More effort is going into issues related to the bargaining situation, and away from regular business priorities. Training to ‘learn’ Bargaining Unit jobs that even Bargaining Unit members struggle to learn with many weeks, due to overloading of tasks, is simply lost time. Let alone the threat of job action, which will render a now-difficult situation impossible. More and more often, the Union is hearing about Team Managers who are letting Team Members know personally about their own dissatisfaction with the inflexibility of upper management on bargaining issues.

We believe that repeatedly ‘selling’ a sub-par company offer to members is not likely something that you enjoy, nor what you signed up for when taking on your present role. Members want to feel good putting in their day’s work, and of course so do you. The Local’s 41 “Telus, How You’ve Changed” videos, demonstrate that recent years have seen a deterioration in management practices at Telus, but you would have observed this happening in real time as well. It’s time to bring some more humanity back into the culture at Telus.

If you believe that the direction from upper management is putting the business at risk due to growing personnel issues and lost time/effort on bargaining waste when we could have a reasonable agreement already, please do what you can to forward this message up the line. Ask yourself whether it seems Labour Relations and the Executive leadership group really understand the situation ‘on the ground’ and, if not, we hope that you try to bridge that understanding.

Not only is this the right thing to do to bring some fairness back into the workplace, and not only can this help to get operations back on stable ground, but even management compensation and benefits are naturally linked (on a premium basis) to the compensation and benefits of their direct reports. Undoubtedly, some of the impetus towards keeping our wages down are to keep your wages down too.

As you know, there is a significant commonality of interest between yourself and your employees in achieving a quick resolution of the outstanding bargaining issues, but bargaining is a two-way street. You’ve given members the upper management position, but we hope that you can make some progress pushing the reality on the ground back up the chain.

Thank you for reading.


USW Local 1944