Tag Archives: bargaining

Deal reached for Phoenix damages, PA group and common issues

Image conversation PSAC AFPC

In a victory for federal public service workers who have gone above and beyond to support Canadians during this pandemic, PSAC has reached a tentative agreement that provides fair wages, no concessions, and improved working conditions for the 70,000 members of the PA group, and Treasury Board common issues.

Alongside these successful talks, PSAC has also secured proper compensation for Phoenix damages to be paid to PSAC members for the pain and suffering caused by the broken pay system.

Phoenix damages

PSAC successfully negotiated a Phoenix damages settlement that is significantly better than the employer’s deal with other federal bargaining agents. Last year, PSAC rejected the government’s meagre offer of 5 days of cashable leave, which was too little and would have rewarded those who earn more while punishing workers who make less. The current agreement provides PSAC members with a fair and equitable lump sum payment of $2,500.

Unlike the tentative deal for Treasury Board bargaining that must be voted on by PSAC members in the near future, the Phoenix damages agreement required ratification by the PSAC National Board of Directors. The Board voted unanimously in favour of the offer on July 3, 2020.

Please read the following update which provides greater detail on the general Phoenix compensation portion of the settlement, as well as the expansion of the claims process for out-of-pocket expenses and for those who suffered major losses because of Phoenix.

PA Group settlement

The PSAC bargaining team successfully secured fair wage increases averaging at 2.11% per year.

PA group members would receive the following wage increases:

2018 2019 2020
2.8% 2.2% 1.35%

In addition to those wage increases, the following group-specific wage adjustments and allowances were also secured: ​

  • Improved retention allowance expanded for all employees working in compensation operations to $3,500 per year
  • A new $3,000 annual allowance for armed Fishery Officers
  • A new Primary Responsibility Allowance of $2,000 per year for parole officers and parole officer supervisors or Parole Officer Managers at Correctional Services Canada (CSC)

Other improvements to the PA collective agreement include: ​

  • Increase in maternity related reassignment or leave qualification from 52 to 78 weeks following the birth of a child
  • Several leave improvements including for a person who stands in place of a relative for:
    • Leave without pay for the care of the family
    • Bereavement leave
    • Leave with pay for family-related responsibilities
  • A new leave provision for members elected to union leadership
  • An increase in meal allowance for overtime from $10 to $12
  • New language to clarify that  the Employer shall provide an unpaid meal break of a minimum of thirty (30) minutes per full working day, normally at the mid-point of the working day
  • Renewal and update of a memorandum of understanding on a Joint Study on the Work Environment for Employees Working in Call Centres
  • New provision that provides call centre employees with training on crisis intervention and coping
  • Increases to funding for the Joint Learning Program, including a pilot study on health and safety training
  • Language that explicitly provides breaks for nursing employees (to nurse or express breast milk)
  • Memorandum of understanding for a Joint Study on employee support mechanisms for employees who in the course of their duties are exposed to explicit and disturbing material, and/or potentially threatening situations
  • Joint committee to review the use of Indigenous languages in the federal public service, examine Indigenous language skills in the performance of employee duties and consider the advantages that Indigenous language speakers bring to the public service
  • Memorandum of understanding regarding Occupational Group Structure (OGS) review

Common issues settlement

Alongside negotiations for the PA group, PSAC bargaining teams for the TC, EB and SV groups also joined talks to reach a settlement for Treasury Board issues common to all groups. Some of the key improvements include:

  • A one-time payment of $500 in recognition of the extended collective agreement implementation deadline and an additional $50 for every subsequent 90-day delay
  • 10 days of paid domestic violence leave
  • Better language on return to work following a maternity or parental leave, giving more flexibility to parents who wish to change positions within the federal public service.
  • Improvements to parental leave pay
    • Updated language to match the new legislation including a new extended leave option and the sharing of parental leave
    • Expanded supplementary allowance for every week an employee is on extended or shared parental leave
    • Additional weeks for parents covered under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, when both parents work in the public service.
  • New memorandum of understanding to explore the issues related to childcare in the public service
  • Updated and improved language to match the new legislation on compassionate care and caregiving leave
  • Better language to allow the use of employer facilities for union activities
  • New memorandum of understanding to protect certain working conditions of civilian members of the RCMP
  • New memorandum of understanding on mental health in the workplace to support the work of the Centre for Expertise on Mental Health
  • In the event of workforce adjustment, the education allowance has increased to $17,000
  • Deletion of Memorandum of Understanding on Supporting Employee Wellness. As a result, sick leave will remain untouched.

Full text and next steps

In the coming days when the final text and full details of the tentative agreement for the PA group and common issues are available, they will be shared with the membership. PA members will shortly thereafter be invited to participate in online ratification votes. Details about the votes will be shared as soon as possible.

The PSAC bargaining team unanimously recommends the ratification of the tentative agreement.

To ensure that you receive all updates and can participate in the ratification process, please ensure that you have either updated your contact information on PSAC’s member portal, or that you create an account if you have not done so already.

Other PSAC bargaining groups

Bargaining dates for the SV group will be announced in the weeks to come. Negotiations for the EB, TC and Canada Revenue Agency groups will resume next week.

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

FB bargaining on hold until new employer negotiator is assigned

Photo of a border services officer with the words bargaining - FB group

Our FB bargaining team met with Canada Border Services Agency/Treasury Board last month in virtual contract talks. Our team was scheduled to meet with them again in July, but the Treasury Board negotiator assigned to the FB bargaining unit is no longer representing the employer.

Consequently, our dates for next month have been postponed while a new negotiator is assigned by Treasury Board. We have notified the employer that our team is prepared to schedule dates during the summer once a new negotiator is assigned. We’ll provide an update once we have more information.

Bargaining to resume for 100,000 PSAC members

Image conversation PSAC AFPC

After months of pressure from PSAC and its members, the federal government has agreed to return to the bargaining table.

Negotiations for 70,000 federal public service workers in the PA group – PSAC’s largest bargaining unit – will resume with Treasury Board June 23 to July 3. It will include Treasury Board common issues and Phoenix damages.

Bargaining will also resume for nearly 30,000 members at Canada Revenue Agency the week of July 6.

“Elsewhere in Canada, the need to provide stability and fair compensation to public service workers during this pandemic was recognized months ago – provinces, municipalities and large employers across the country have been negotiating and settling contracts,” said PSAC National President Chris Aylward. “It’s high time the federal government did the same for their employees.”

Throughout the pandemic, PSAC members have been on the front lines battling the virus and delivering emergency financial support to millions of Canadians. They continue to provide critical services despite not having a new contract or wage increases in up to four years.

They also continue to endure Phoenix pay issues and have yet to be fairly compensated for their financial hardships.

“The government has clearly listened to the more than 15,000 PSAC members who wrote to them in recent weeks urging Treasury Board to get back to the table,” said Aylward. “It shouldn’t take that kind of pressure to get back to negotiations, but I’m grateful to our members for supporting our bargaining teams in such large numbers.”

“And it’s a welcome change to see the government – during National Public Service Week no less – move from kind words about our members, to action,” added Aylward. “Now they have to show up with a mandate to reach a fair settlement without any more delays.”

Updates for other Treasury Board bargaining units will be coming soon.

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

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.

FB bargaining: CBSA members on the front lines of COVID-19 deserve better

Photo of CBSA officer with orange epaulettes

PSAC/CIU Border Services members continue to play a pivotal role in Canada’s response to COVID-19, repatriating Canadians returning home from abroad and screening travellers at the border.

Despite their ongoing efforts, CBSA management still refuses to make meaningful progress towards a new collective agreement for more than 9,000 border services officers, investigators and headquarters staff.

During bargaining via teleconference May 12-14, our PSAC/CIU bargaining team made it clear that it is time the government addresses core workplace issues we’ve raised in negotiations concerning excessive discipline in CBSA workplaces, and crucial scheduling issues. The same is true with respect to parity with the broader law enforcement community, including much-needed pension reform.

Telework

We also raised our telework proposals with the employer. Given the reality that so many of our members are now teleworking during this crisis, it only stands to reason that our collective agreement finally addresses this issue for our non-uniformed members.

Technological change

Our team spoke to our proposals concerning technological change. We are looking for language in our collective agreement that would ensure meaningful consultation with PSAC-CIU on any changes, and that no bargaining unit jobs be lost due to technological change. The COVID-19 crisis has again shown that machines cannot do the job of trained CBSA officers.

Workplace protections

CBSA rejected our proposals for protections against surveillance in CBSA workplaces and when officers are asked to remove their tools. We explained that we are maintaining our position on these issues. New protections are needed against CBSA management in our collective agreement.

PSAC prepared to take legal action against CBSA

Recently, CBSA announced its plan to unilaterally change scheduling practices in Toronto, despite opposition from the union and our members. As a result, PSAC put Treasury Board/CBSA on notice this week that it will take legal action if such changes are implemented.

Our team also indicated that PSAC legal counsel will take action should CBSA proceed with changes to the escort and removal procedures that undermine our work and our rights under the collective agreement. We will uphold our rights.

Parity with law enforcement community

Our review of recent law enforcement wage settlements across Canada is ongoing – including our monitoring of wage talks for a first collective agreement for RCMP officers. Wage trends for 1st Class Constables at the RCMP are critical for comparative analysis to our group. Once the analysis is complete, we will commence wage discussions with the employer.

We also raised with management this week the issue of employees being provided T2200 forms for claiming home office expenses with the Canada Revenue Agency. The employer indicated that it is working on the issue.

We are in the process of setting additional dates with the employer.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled as well as those of the employer, visit psacunion.ca/fb-group. We’ll continue to provide updates throughout the bargaining process. To see other updates on Treasury Board bargaining, check out psacunion.ca/treasury-board.

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