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What to expect at PSAC’s 2022 convention

PSAC’s 2022 National Triennial Convention is being held virtually from May 26 to May 27 and May 30 to June 3.

PSAC’s national convention is unlike any other event within our union. Every three years, more than 500 members from communities across Canada attend to discuss and decide the path forward for our union.

However, the pandemic has forced us to adapt and make some changes.

Since PSAC’s 2021 convention was postponed due to the pandemic, the business of this convention will set the course for a shorter — but critically important — two-year window of opportunity instead of the usual three-year cycle.

We’re also holding this year’s convention virtually to protect the health and safety of our members and staff, and their communities and families when they return home.

Despite these changes, the business of this convention has not changed.

What to expect at PSAC’s 2022 convention

  • Debate about resolutions on PSAC initiatives, campaigns and changes to our union’s structure and rules;
  • A review of PSAC’s financial position and adoption of a new budget for the next two years;
  • The election of PSAC’s national president, national executive vice-president and alternate national executive vice-president to a two-year term;
  • A look back at the past four years of our victories and achievements;
  • And an address from Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske.

For all the latest convention news:

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

Treasury Board members: Moratorium lifted on automatic leave cash-out

Bannière de l'AFPC représentant une conversation

PSAC and Treasury Board have reached an agreement to lift the moratorium on the automatic cash-out of vacation and compensatory leave for the PA, TC, EB, SV and FB groups.

In previous years, in order to address the shortcomings of the Phoenix pay system and allow compensation advisors to focus on fixing outstanding pay issues, PSAC and Treasury Board had agreed to suspend the automatic cash-out of vacation and compensatory leave permitted under PSAC’s collective agreement until March 31, 2022.

Under most of PSAC collective agreements, leave that is earned in a fiscal year and remains outstanding on September 30 of the following fiscal year is subject to an automatic cash-out provision.

Payment of outstanding vacation and compensatory leave credits will resume on March 31, 2022. However, in order to return to the carry-over levels allowed in the collective agreements, PSAC and Treasury Board have agreed on a transition process.

This means that each year, for a five-year period, 20 per cent of the vacation and compensatory leave balances above the annual carry-over limit will be cashed out.

Members with a balance above allowable limits remaining on March 31, 2026, will receive a cash-out for the portion in excess, in its entirety, with respect to the applicable collective agreement provisions.

PSAC acknowledges that many members prefer paid time off over a cash payment in lieu. Members will continue to be allowed to use their vacation and compensatory time or to request a cash-out of their vacation or compensatory leave balances during the year, in the amounts and manner described in their collective agreement.

If a member is having ongoing issues with their leave balance, for example in situations regarding a dispute about the balance due to the Phoenix pay system or a pending transfer situation, in consultation with the employee, the mandatory leave cash-out can be paused by the employer.

For more information on the automatic leave cash-out, members can consult the Memorandum of Understanding.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

PSAC: Governments must prioritize vaccinations for front-line workers

Canadian border crossing

PSAC is pressing governments to prioritize vaccinations for critical front-line workers across Canada to limit the spread of COVID-19.

PSAC represents thousands of front-line workers doing critical work at Canada’s borders, in federal penitentiaries, day shelters and group homes, community parole officers, firefighters, Coast Guard staff and employees on military bases, meat-packing plant workers, food inspectors and many more.

Their close contact with the public and other employees while performing their work puts them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and contributing to outbreaks in their communities. That’s why it’s crucial that all provinces and territories provide access to vaccinations for front-line essential workers as soon as possible, as per Stage 2 of the Government of Canada’s vaccine schedule.

“The federal government has an obligation to safeguard the health and safety of all its employees during the pandemic,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “Federal ministers must step in and mandate provinces and territories to accelerate vaccinations for front-line essential workers as soon as possible, as recommended in the federal government’s own vaccination schedule.”

PSAC and components, including the Customs and Immigration Union and the Union of Safety and Justice Employees, have been lobbying both the federal and provincial governments, including Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, to prioritize vaccinations for our members.

“Canada Border Services Agency personnel have continued to perform critical work despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jean-Pierre Fortin, CIU national president, representing more than 11,000 CBSA officers and workers across the country. “With a third wave now well underway and the growing threat of COVID variants, it’s imperative for frontline Border Services officers to be prioritized for vaccinations equally across the country, alongside other first responders and law enforcement personnel.”

Some provinces have prioritized vaccinations for front-line workers early on, while others still refuse to consider many front-line workers essential under their vaccination plans, creating a patchwork system that puts workers and the Canadians they serve at risk. Two workers, doing the same job and facing the same risk of exposure to COVID-19, could be vaccinated months apart under the current provincial arrangement.

“By not quickly moving to vaccinate all front-line staff who work day in and day out with federal offenders, we put thousands of Canadians and employees at continued high risk of COVID-19 outbreaks,” said Stan Stapleton, national president of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees representing all federal employees working in rehabilitative, parole, maintenance, food service and related support roles in federal minimum, medium and maximum security penitentiaries, as well as Community Correctional Centres and parole offices across Canada.

PSAC will continue to pressure the federal government to work collaboratively with provincial public health authorities and ensure all front-line workers are equally prioritized as part of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.

CIU Statement on PSAC Anti-Racism Webinar

Photo of CIU flag

Sisters and Brothers,

The Customs and Immigration Union is a component of the PSAC. Our members benefit from the strength that comes from being part of the largest federal public sector union in Canada.

The CIU does not tolerate bullying, harassment or intimidation. Whether at a union event, on social media or in the workplace, we have always taken a firm stance on tolerance, respect and dignity. Our members have the right to ask questions, especially of their union, without being made to feel belittled or attacked.

The PSAC decided to offer a webinar in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. CIU applauded that initiative and believed it would be informative and beneficial to our members.

By creating a provocative webinar title – An Introduction to Anti-Racism for White Folks – we can only assume that the facilitators wanted to spark debate and were encouraging participants to explore why white people need to engage more fully in the anti-racism initiative. In other words, sparking questions creates a teaching moment, and that’s a good thing.

On social media, a PSAC member asked exactly the question that the title of the seminar was designed to elicit. Why was this webinar only for white people?  Instead of using the question to explore the content of the webinar, one of the facilitators simply told the member to “eat shit”.

The controversy that followed is not about racism. It’s about respect. At CIU, we want our members to receive the best possible training from the most competent experts we can find. Clearly, this isn’t it.

The CIU represents over 11,000 workers, many of whom are law enforcement professionals. While we stand behind global efforts to combat racism, we advocate for a reasoned and informed approach to education and change. We all need to do better but believe that sweeping generalizations about law enforcement don’t move us forward.

We believe that the comments surrounding the PSAC webinar are offensive and inappropriate. We also believe that our members deserve better and should not be subject to abuse when they engage in discussion with someone who has been contracted to speak on behalf of their union.

The PSAC is a democratic organization. In light of recent discussions, one of which held by the PSAC National Board of Directors, an earlier decision to remove Nora Loreto from her role as one of the webinar’s facilitators was reversed. The CIU did not support this decision. We continue to find her comments and behaviour indefensible and question her ability to facilitate a productive and inclusive discussion. As such, we are not encouraging our members to participate in this webinar.

Again, the CIU’s decision to distance itself from the PSAC’s webinar is about respect. The CIU is working on a number of anti-racism initiatives and continues, as always, to support all efforts to put an end to racism.

We believe that this goal can be achieved through inclusive, constructive and respectful dialogue.

In solidarity,

The CIU National Executive

Get back to the table now

Image conversation PSAC AFPC

PSAC members stepped up to deliver the government’s massive response to COVID-19 in record time.

Yet the government continues to delay talks for a new contract for nearly 140,000 federal public service workers.

Tell the government to get back to the table. Now.

Go to the PSAC website to send a message to the Trudeau government telling them it’s time to reach a fair deal for public service workers.