Local 506 Newsletter – Uniforum 506 Dec/21 Edition

Holiday Message
December 10, 2021
UACL Message – Mental Health Jan 26/22
January 26, 2022

Click Here to read Newsletter in PDF format



It has been a difficult year, but we would like to extend our thanks to all of our members for showing both their willingness to meet the challenges COVID has presented and their continued support of your Local 506 Executive Team.

As a sign of our appreciation, we will be sending our members a $50 Sobeys gift card. We hope this gift card makes someone’s holiday season just a little bit brighter.

The Executive of Unifor Local 506 would like to wish you and your families Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year!



This year the Local 506 Women’s Committee collected enough toiletries to fill 130 purses for the Purse Project!

The purses were dropped off at CPC Ignite where they will be distributed to women at risk in the Saint John community.

Many thanks to the Local 506 members who donated purses, snacks, hygiene items, lip balms and gift cards this year; especially Jill Davis LeBlanc, Tammy Lewis, Angela Davis, Yvonne Fox, Erin Howell Sharpe, Kat Magarvey, and Chris & Dianne Hewitt!


The Local 506 Women’s Committee also gave back to the community with their annual donation to the Coverdale Centre.

Coverdale Centre provides a safe place for women at their Drop-In Centre, Emergency Shelter and Halfway House.

This year the Local 506 Women’s Committee donated pyjamas for 35 children and 22 women.


Local 506 Women’s Committee Chair, Angela Davis, dropping off a donation for the Code Red Campaign.

Pamela Wheaton, Heartbreak Boutique owner, collects feminine hygiene products at her store and Code Red distributes them to local organizations for homeless and marginalized women in Saint John.


Recently members have been contacting the Union regarding issues with mandatory overtime.

Issues include:

  • The call for mandatory overtime,
  • The limited ability to access banked time,
  • The low number of members allowed off at one time for vacation,
  • And the high number of staff temporary reassignments.

As a reminder, Article 23.02 restricts the company’s ability to ask our members to work more than eight hours of overtime in a scheduling period.

The Union has regularly been stating to Bell that departments are understaffed, and this has been the root cause of most of the complaints we receive daily.

When bargaining starts, the Union’s position on the understaffing issue in Atlantic Canada is that we must grow the bargaining unit and eliminate the increasing use of contractors that are replacing members we lose through attrition.


If you know a member that has recently lost a loved one, please reach out to the Union Office so that we can send a sympathy card and make a donation in their memory.

Please contact us at 506-634-8810 or unionoffice@unifor506.ca


Congratulations to Jason Haché; the winner of the $100 gift card for his entry in the “Name Our Newsletter” draw!

Thanks to his suggestion, our newsletter will now be called “Uniforum 506”.


We are now approaching the end of  the year and with that, the expiration of our current Collective Agreement with Bell Canada (December 31, 2021).

The Unifor Atlantic Communication Locals would like to remind members that we will continue to work under the existing Collective Agreement going forward until such time as we ratify a new agreement.

As was mentioned in the previous UACL Bulletin to members sent out on November 8, 2021, Bell has failed to provide us with the necessary information on the current location of our former work and has yet to agree to our terms on a Maintenance of Activity Agreement.

A Maintenance of Activity Agreement is an agreement that  the  company  and the union must negotiate so that  in  the  event of a strike or lockout, the health and safety of Canadians is protected.

This agreement is obvious for some safety- sensitive sectors, but Unifor has never agreed that any telecommunications workers fall under this category.

The Canadian Industrial Relations Board will have to rule on the matter, which could take several months. The absence of these two crucial elements is preventing us from commencing negotiations.


During our last round of bargaining with Bell in 2017-2018, the Union had a Mobilization Committee that coordinated actions and events which showed tremendous support for the Bargaining Team.

Those actions included regular bargaining updates and “Red Shirt Days”, where members wore red Unifor t-shirts to support the efforts of the Bargaining Team.

During negotiations we will be communicating with the membership directly using your personal email addresses, not Bell’s work email server, so please contact the union office at unionoffice@unifor506.ca or 506-634-8810 to be included on the list for bargaining updates.

When bargaining does finally begin, we will once again be looking to the membership for its full support!


Because our Sub-Local meetings were on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions and to ensure the continued safety of our members, the Local had decided to accept nominations via email.

There was one nomination only for each of the following roles and all of the nominees have accepted:

  • Carlos Vicente nominated for the Secretary Treasurer position
  • Leesa Allain nominated for the Region 2 Chair position
  • Eric Murty Morais nominated for the Region 2 Sub-Local Chair position
  • Alain Ouellette nominated for the Region 4 Chair position

For the position of Secretary Treasurer, Carlos Vicente will assume the role of Secretary Treasurer by acclamation and will be sworn in at the December Executive Board meeting.

Also, Leesa Allain, Eric Murty Morais and Alain Ouellette will by acclamation assume the roles of Region 2 Chair, Region 2 Sub-Local Chair and Region 4 Chair respectively.

Many thanks to Angela Davis, Judy Mercer and Jason Ryan for serving on the 2021 Election Committee!


Safety Representatives in Atlantic Canada attended the first session in a series of Unifor Safety training workshops.

Sixteen Safety Reps from Local 506 participated in two online sessions on November 25th and December 2nd.

Participants discussed the causes and solutions to the hazardous working conditions workers face in the workplace.

They also looked at Behaviour Based Safety programs and our union’s concerns with “blame the worker” systems that are being adopted by more and more employers.

Recently, Local 506 President, Sandy Brideau was appointed as the  Liaison for the Atlantic Safety Reps and the UACL Council.


Local 506 members have a number of  discounts and savings plans  available  to  them.

Mark’s Discount Card – Members are entitled to a 10% discount with the Local 506 Marks Discount Card. Please contact your Regional Chair or the union office at unionoffice@unifor506.ca if you would like a card.

Lawton’s Discount Card – Local 506 members (and eligible dependents) receive additional coverage up to $3.00 on each drug  prescription filled  at participating pharmacies. Members will also enjoy a range  of discounts on their front-store purchases at Lawton’s Drugs (40% off greeting cards!).

Perkopolis – Offers discounts on shopping, travel (car rentals, flights, hotels), movies, wellness and food.

Union Savings – Provides exclusive discounts on auto, entertainment, financial, home, insurance, retail and travel for Unifor Local  506 members, retirees and their families.

Higgins Insurance – Offers Local 506 members discounts on home and auto insurance.

For more info, click the “Members Discounts” tab on our website.


Recently we have noticed that the majority of job postings in the past six or eight months have been for positions in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

This alarming trend is related to staffing. The core issue is that we are losing too many members through attrition and they are not being replaced. Then our work is outsourced to Central or worse, assigned to contractors.

We are very concerned about the lack of NB job postings and will bring up this issue with the Company at the next Atlantic and New Brunswick Joint Consultative meetings.


The Unifor Atlantic Regional Council  AWOC (Aboriginal & Workers of Colour) Committee recently donated $1,000.00 each to the Gignoo Transition House and the Natoaganeg Community Food Centre – Pistamune’kemk (former Eel Ground First Nation).

The Gignoo Transition House is the only indigenous women’s shelter in NB and the Natoaganeg Community Food Centre is the first to be located in a First Nations community.

The donations were made based on recommendations from the Unifor Atlantic Regional Council AWOC Committee and $2000 was donated to each province in Atlantic Canada.


Unifor’s activism against violence against women and gender-based violence in all its forms is strong and longstanding. Together workers have won efforts to prevent violence, and better support survivors.

Women still experience violence predominantly at the hands of men, most often their intimate partners or family members. Men’s violence against women has increased sharply during the pandemic. By naming the source of the violence, we can focus more clearly on finding solutions.

In 2021, men in positions of power in the union commit to speak up and take action to prevent gender-based violence.

All women, girls and gender diverse people are valued, respected and have a right to live free from violence.


Erin Howell Sharpe is the Local 506 Women’s Advocate and is here to assist members with concerns such as workplace harassment, domestic violence and abuse.

The Women’s Advocate is not a counsellor but is a specially trained workplace representative who provides support for women seeking community and workplace resources. Any meetings or discussions with our Women’s Advocate is 100% confidential.

A Women’s Advocate is someone who can listen and help when a woman is…

  • facing violence or abuse in her relationship
  • experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace
  • in need of community resources (child care, housing issues, addiction services, sexual assault)

If you would like to contact Erin for assistance or access to community services for yourself or someone close to you (wife, sister, girlfriend, daughter), please call her at 506-647-8882 or send her an email at erin.howellsharpe@unifor506.ca


If you have a question, an issue you need to discuss, a safety concern, require personal support, or wish to have a union  representative at a meeting with the company, please contact us at 506-634-8810 or unionoffice@unifor506.ca