Author Archives: Pierre St-Jacques

Border Services Delegates United and Ready for Upcoming Negotiations

FB Bargaining Conference / Conférence nationale, négos du groupe FB

PSAC / CIU members working at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) held a Bargaining Conference in the National Capital Region, October 10 to 12, 2018, to prepare for upcoming negotiations for a new collective agreement. Border Services delegates from across the country are united and ready to fight for a fair collective agreement.

Delegates reviewed membership recommendations for contract improvements, discussed the bargaining process and developed mobilizing strategies for members in their regions and across Canada.

Delegates also elected the Border Services (FB) Bargaining Team, which will sit across from the employer throughout negotiations and fight for improvements to the current contract. The most recent four-year collective agreement with CBSA expired June 20, 2018.

The team will provide regular updates during the bargaining process. The full package of bargaining proposals will also be made available once it is presented to the employer.

We strongly encourage members to visit the FB bargaining webpage, sign up to receive the PSAC electronic newsletter directly, and stay in touch with elected bargaining team members:

Border Services (FB) Bargaining Team

  • Leanne Hugues, Border Services Officer, British Columbia
  • Claude Bouchard, Border Services Officer, Quebec
  • Frances Baroutoglou, Border Services Officer, Ontario
  • Jonathan Ross, Border Services Officer, Atlantic
  • Michael Aessie, Border Services Officer, Prairies
  • Mathew Ashworth, Border Services Officer, Ontario
  • Ken Turner, Border Services Officer, Ontario
  • Joey Dunphy, Border Services Officer, Atlantic
  • Charles Khoury, Senior Program Officer, National Capital Region

FB Bargaining Team

Alternates

  • Mathieu Landry, Quebec
  • Murray Star, Ontario
  • Stewart Saunderson, Ontario
  • Tammy Firlotte, Atlantic
  • Jordan Smith, Ontario
  • Keith Palmer, British Columbia
  • Andrew Wiersema, Ontario
  • Emily Henry, Ontario

PSAC Research Officer

  • David-Alexandre Leblanc

PSAC Communications Officer

  • Jonathan Choquette

PSAC Negotiator

  • Morgan Gay

A version of this article was posted on the PSAC website.

Common Bargaining Issues: PSAC Frustrated by Lack of Progress on Treasury Board Bargaining

Bargaining

The bargaining team representing the common issues for nearly 80,000 public service workers resumed contract negotiations with Treasury Board (TB) on October 10-11, but left the meetings disappointed and frustrated. TB negotiators have yet to table proposals on a number of issues they previously flagged for discussion, and came to the table with no response to most of PSAC’s proposals, which they have had since June.

Despite the Government’s inaction, PSAC’s bargaining team continued advancing our members’ interests and concerns on a number of key issues. They presented proposals on pay administration and Phoenix-related issues, mental health in the workplace, childcare, and a protocol for negotiating the terms and conditions of work for civilian members of the RCMP who are pay-matched to PSAC bargaining units.

Our Phoenix-related demands include:

  • Employees are to be paid on time, and daily interest is to be paid to employees who do not receive their proper pay, based on the Bank of Canada’s daily compounded interest rate.

  • No repayments of overpayments are to be made until all the employee’s pay issues have been resolved. Moreover, the repayment schedule will not exceed 10% of the employee’s net pay unless the employee opts for a larger amount.

  • Rules around salary and benefit advances, and language providing for accountant and financial management counselling for employees negatively impacted by Phoenix.

PSAC’s bargaining team put Treasury Board on notice that for the next common issues bargaining session scheduled for the first week of December, we expect government negotiators to table the remainder of their proposals, and to finally start negotiating seriously.

This week’s bargaining session included elected teams representing members from the Program & Administrative Services (PA), Technical Services (TC), Operations Services (SV) , and Education & Library Science (EB) groups, whose collective agreements expired this summer.

Bargaining sessions for each specific group will be held on October 16-17.

A version of this article was posted on the PSAC website.

Border Services Bargaining Conference Begins Today

Border Services (FB) delegates are meeting this week in the National Capital Region for a three-day bargaining conference. Members from across the country are gathering from October 10 to 12 in order to prepare for upcoming negotiations for a new collective agreement.

Throughout the conference, the delegates are:

  • learning about the collective bargaining process,
  • reviewing bargaining proposals and discuss priorities,
  • developing mobilization strategies, and
  • electing their bargaining team members.

Treasury Board signed their most recent agreement on July 3, 2018.

The four-year collective agreement, which expired June 20, 2018, finally delivered the respect deserved as law enforcement personnel, including the largest increases for law enforcement personnel achieved by any union in Canada for the same period of time.

Stay up to date with bargaining news by visiting the Border Services bargaining webpage, or sign up to receive the PSAC electronic newsletter.

A version of this article was posted on the PSAC website.

Victory: PSAC wins major improvements to Public Service Dental Plan

A cartoon tooth with the word "victory" above

After lengthy negotiations and an arbitration process, PSAC has won a major victory for the Public Service Dental Care Plan, which will result in substantial improvements for your coverage.

“The government dragged this process out by trying to get us to accept reduced coverage for our members,” said Chris Aylward, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. “But our position has always been that our members deserve better, and I’m very pleased that the arbitration panel agreed with us.”

The major highlight is a 47% increase to the annual maximum for routine and major services. The current maximum of $1,700 per year will gradually increase to $2,500 per year as follows:

  • $2,000 per year starting on January 1, 2019;
  • $2,250 per year starting on January 1, 2020; and
  • $2,500 per year starting on January 1, 2021.

Additionally, as of January 1, 2019, the following changes will be made:

  • Dental implants will be covered. Implants had been partially covered by deeming them to be another procedure (i.e. bridge or denture). This would often lead to gaps in (or problems with) coverage. They are now covered in their own right.
  • Coverage for replacement fillings for children will be possible 12 months after the initial filling was done (instead of 24).
  • Congenitally missing teeth will be covered until age 21 (up from 19).
  • Coverage during suspensions is improved.
  • An allowable break in service to become eligible for the plan is extended from 5 to 7 days. Ability to have coverage for extra scaling approved retroactively. Currently, this may only be approved going forward.

The full text of the new dental plan will be posted online in the near future.

The government made a large number of proposals to the arbitration panel that sought to weaken the dental plan. Very few of them were accepted and the ones that were accepted are small and have a very minor impact on plan members. These are:

  • Charges for oral hygiene instructions will now be limited to once per lifetime per adult (and remain once per year for children).
  • Coverage is eliminated for minor issues such as:
    • The assistance of a second oral surgeon.
    • Dental professional peer consultation.
    • Trauma control if done at the same time as treatment for caries or pain control.
    • Enlargement of the canal or pulp chamber as a part of dental treatment separate from doing a root canal.

Any other proposals that are not mentioned above will remain status quo without change.

A version of this article was posted on the PSAC website.

Treasury Board Bargaining to Resume in October

Bargaining

PSAC will return to the bargaining table with Treasury Board on Oct. 10 to 11 to negotiate issues common to the Program and Administrative Services group (PA), Operational Services group (SV), Technical Services group (TC), and the Education and Library Science group (EB). Negotiations on issues specific to each table will resume from Oct. 16 to 17.

At the last round of negotiations in July, PSAC came to the table with clear proposals and a strong mandate to move forward. Unfortunately, the employer did not show that same level of commitment, and instead was unprepared to make any real progress.

When we sit down to bargain in October, we’ll be focused on important issues like:

  • ensuring salaries keep up with inflation, and that wage gaps are closed;
  • improving work-life balance like extending the parental leave top-up from 37 weeks to the full 63 weeks now available;
  • addressing workload and reducing the use of temp agencies and precarious contract work.

After two years and a half years of hardships under Phoenix, our members continue to show up to work every day and deliver the services Canadians depend on. The least this government can do is negotiate a collective agreement that recognizes that commitment and the importance of the services they provide to Canadians.

It’s outrageous that PSAC members are still waiting to get paid correctly – they shouldn’t also have to wait to get the working conditions they deserve.

A version of this article was posted on the PSAC website.