Update on the Concierge arbitration award

November 27, 2019 - As we have communicated to members previously, the Union filed grievances in 2013 and 2014 asserting that “Concierge” Reps had been underpaid by Telus due to an incorrect wage categorization of their job. In December 2018, the Union won this grievance at arbitration, and the arbitrator ordered Telus to compensate former Concierge agents at the proper wage rate.

However, a major stumbling block in getting affected agents their money emerged when Telus took the position that they could retroactively revise the monies paid to former Concierge agents under the Sales Incentive Program (SIP). Telus claims that they can now pay SIP at a lower level than they actually paid it on the basis that if they had originally paid affected agents the higher wage rate that the arbitrator said agents were owed, their SIP would have been calculated differently and at a much lower rate.

The position the Company takes is that they can now claw back the SIP actually paid to affected agents and calculate it at a lower rate, thus reducing the back pay owed to these agents under the award.

The Union believes this is wrong and that no employer clawback of SIP can be justified. We want to ensure that members receive every penny that they are owed as a consequence of Telus’ underpayment of their work, including full wage correction, and the effect that these additional wages would have on additional pension contributions, overtime and shares where applicable. Unfortunately, to fight for our position, we must take the issue of compensation back to the Arbitrator to make a ruling on whether the award mandates, or allows, Telus to clawback any portion of the SIP earned by former Concierge agents.

We have been working very hard behind the scenes trying to get members the proper pay-out that we believe the award has declared they are owed. It is unfortunate that the Employer continues to drag this out. We have been left with no choice but to return to the Arbitrator to obtain a decision on the issue of a SIP clawback.

In Solidarity,

USW Local 1944