The MTA has taken a step in the right direction by incorporating productivity committees into the new TWU treaty. The MTA should set productivity targets and report public quarterly savings to ensure accountability, and similar committees should be established with other unions if labour reduction changes are not negotiated directly in other collective agreements. The contract contains other salary and benefit increases whose total cost was not included in the MTA reports. The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) estimates that these benefits are at least 0.5 per cent in addition to the 9.8 per cent of annual wage increases at a total cost of 10.3 per cent. CBC estimates the cost of these benefits over four years at least $64 million, bringing the total four-year cost to $1.1 billion $US. These changes include: March 2, 2017 – The Telus-TWU, ETC National Local 1944 Collective Agreement 2016-2021 is now available online. The TWU bargaining agreement increases costs faster than anticipated in the financial plan, but provides for savings that, if implemented, can offset most of the increased costs. However, there is a real risk that these savings will not be realized, which would increase the deficit of $638 million projected for the MTA over four years. This risk is reinforced by the extension of the model to other unionized workers. If the MTA negotiates similar agreements (and savings) with its other bargaining units, it will cost $11.7 million more than the financial plan provides. In order to maintain the neutrality of the financial plan`s effects, the agreements should include greater savings, including changes to labour rules, to offset the effects of these increased costs.
In addition, the Employment Services Productivity Committees established by the TWU Treaty should set productivity targets and report public quarterly on savings to ensure accountability. The MTA employs approximately 24,000 workers represented by unions other than TWU20 The TWU contract generally defines the “model” for other unions. If the collective agreements of these workers follow TWU`s salary model, they will cost the MTA $735 million from 2019 to 2023.