First of all if I were a union I wouldn't sign anything longer than three years.
The powers that be want longer term contracts for their purposes and the
unions are dumb enough to go along. Keep them short term and pressure
the system for improvement until the governments learn not to screw with
the workers. In the past the governments have done things outside the law
and its been proven in court When that happens make the government and
the taxpayers pay to enforce the concept that the law must be obeyed by all.
Signing bonuses are handed out because people are willing to sacrifice their
futures. I don't agree with bonuses as there is much more to be gained by
shorter contracts and bigger asks. I say that because the government is the
one that broke the bond of trust nearly a decade ago.