Tag Archives: conseil du trésor

Government walks away from pre-election deal

PSAC rally in front of Parliament

The Liberal government has squandered one last pre-election opportunity to deliver a fair deal at the bargaining table for PSAC members, as well as to provide proper compensation for damages caused by the Phoenix pay system.

Approximately half of the 140,000 federal public service workers currently in negotiations returned to the bargaining table when the Program and Administrative Services (PA) unit, representing 71,000 PSAC members, resumed negotiations with Treasury Board on Sunday September 1.

The government refused to meet PSAC’s key demands despite six continuous days of bargaining. Their wage offer fell short of providing PSAC members – the largest group of workers in the federal public service – with even the equivalent wage increase that was negotiated with other federal bargaining agents.

The government once again also proposed to short-change PSAC members for the pain and suffering caused by Phoenix. After finally agreeing to cash compensation rather than days of leave, the government’s offer remained meagre and insufficient to recognize the damages inflicted on public service workers over the last four years.

“We had made it clear to Treasury Board that we would return to the bargaining table, but only to discuss an improved offer—one that includes annual wage increases that meet or exceed inflation, improved work-life balance – and equitable monetary compensation for the Phoenix nightmare,” said PSAC National President Chris Aylward.

“PSAC came to the table in good faith, but instead of using this opportunity to deliver a fair deal for our members, the government walked away.”

Due to a federal election set to be called in the coming days, there will be no additional opportunities to return to the bargaining table until after the election is concluded. In the months after the election, negotiations will continue while PSAC undertakes preparations for possible strike action for the bargaining units listed below.

What PSAC units are currently negotiating new contracts with the federal government?

Nine PSAC units covering 140,000 workers in the federal government are currently negotiating new contracts. All the units below, except for Border Services (FB), are awaiting hearings at their respective Public Interest Commission (PIC).

Major government bargaining units

Click on your unit for the latest specific updates.

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

PSAC and government return to bargaining table to reach deal before election

Photo of PSAC members marching in a rally

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is resuming bargaining with Treasury Board for federal public service workers with the expectation that the government is committed to delivering a fair contract and proper compensation for the damage done to PSAC members by the Phoenix pay system. Continue reading

PA, EB, TC & SV bargaining: strike timeline

Bargaining

The Labour Board has set dates for Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings for four Treasury Board bargaining tables:

Once a hearing has taken place, a PIC report is generally issued within 30 days. After the reports are issued, each bargaining unit will be in a position to strike if members vote to walk off the job. 

The PIC process began when bargaining reached an impasse in May.

In negotiations, the government insisted on a wage cut once inflation is factored in as well as a waiting period of up to 18 months after contract signing for retro pay. At the same time, the government rejected our proposals to improve working conditions by:

  • implementing market adjustments where pay discrepancies exist;
  • providing a full top-up for the new 18-month parental leave option;
  • reducing contracting-out and precarious work in the public service; and
  • better addressing mental health in the workplace.

What is a Public Interest Commission (PIC)?

By law, once impasse is reached, a PIC is established to help the parties reach an agreement. The PIC is a panel of three people – a chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and nominees appointed by the union and management. The union and the employer submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing with the PIC. The PIC then issues a report with recommendations for settlement. The recommendations are not binding.

Once the PIC releases its report, PSAC bargaining teams will reconvene to discuss the recommendations. Typically, PSAC’s teams and government representatives then return to the table to resume negotiations.

Will we strike?

Regardless of which party forms government after the fall federal election, PSAC will continue pressing for a fair deal that addresses members’ demands. However, if PSAC and the government are still unable to reach an agreement after the PIC reports are issued, members will have the opportunity to take a strike vote.  

History has taught us that the best way to avoid strikes is to prepare for one. Therefore, PSAC will ensure that strike training is offered to members in the coming months.

PSAC will also provide updates on the PIC process and other bargaining developments as appropriate.

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

FB bargaining team striving to make CBSA a better place to work

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

Our PSAC-Customs and Immigration Union (PSAC-CIU) bargaining team raised issues around vacation leave, medical notes, student workers and firearm practice time during negotiations with Treasury Board/Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) July 30 to August 1.

The team also reached an agreement to fairly compensate CBSA dog handlers.

Other key issues discussed at the table include:

Protections from CBSA Management

We continue to raise problems related to CBSA management culture and CBSA’s dealings with employees. In addition to proposals we’ve made concerning new protections in the context of discipline, abuse of authority and harassment, our team spoke again this week to our proposal to ensure whistleblowing protections are in place for PSAC/CIU members in the event of CBSA wrongdoing.

Paid Leave

Our team addressed the need for us to achieve improved leave and work-life balance. Most ports are understaffed, and overtime use is rampant. We have proposed an increase in annual leave to match what RCMP constables are afforded. We also raised issues related to access to leave with income averaging (LWIA).

Medical Notes

There is no clear policy with respect to employees being required to provide medical notes. CBSA managers often require employees to provide medical notes based on subjective criteria. Our position is that if management wants a medical note, they can pay for the costs associated with obtaining it.

Firearm Practice Time

Our team is demanding that officers be provided paid time for firearm practice, consistent with the Agency’s previous practice.

Student workers

We again raised the issue of students working at airports. In several locations across the country, students are being employed as a cheap labour force and undermining both the safety and security of Canadians and our collective agreement rights. Our proposals in bargaining regarding student use would rectify these issues.

Dog Handlers, grievance procedure, telework

We continued this week to push for language that would streamline the grievance process, and to provide better access to telework options for non-uniformed personnel. We also raised and resolved issues with CBSA management with respect to compensation for officers with dog-handling responsibilities.

We are scheduled to return to the bargaining table in September.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled and those of the employer, go to: psacunion.ca/fb. We’ll be sure to provide updates as things progress.

We stand tall for law enforcement

Together as FBs, we’ve achieved incredible victories over the years. PSAC is the largest union in the federal public service, and one of the largest public sector unions in the country.  No other union has more experience in bargaining and representation within the federal public service than PSAC and CIU.

  • We successfully won the right for Border Services Officers to be armed in 2006.
  • Since 2007, PSAC-CIU successfully negotiated a 48% increase in compensation for frontline BSO, including a 17.5% raise in 2018.
  • We won significant new rights for shift workers, including protections in the context of VSSA negotiations and seniority rights.

Standing together, we will continue to work together and hold the CBSA’s feet to the fire to ensure we can continue to make groundbreaking gains for FB members.

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

Treasury Board bargaining: Trudeau’s window to deliver on commitment to public service workers is closing

Bargaining

The clock is ticking for the Trudeau Liberals as PSAC’s four bargaining teams representing 90,000 workers covered by Treasury Board resume negotiations with the government between March 19 and 21.

Since bargaining began nine months ago, PSAC’s teams have presented proposals to improve work-life balance, reduce precarious contract work, close wage gaps with the private sector, and ensure fair economic increases. Yet, for most of that time, the government has repeatedly delayed progress, and in late November made an insulting offer that would freeze wages for two years.

While the last session of talks in February yielded a few smalls steps in the right direction, far more significant progress must be achieved this month. Reaching a fair agreement before the federal election in October is the only way Justin Trudeau can deliver on his promises to PSAC members.

In a 2015 letter to public service workers, Trudeau committed to restoring the government’s “trust in — and respect for — our public servants”. Moreover, Trudeau has recognized that public service workers “continue to show unwavering professionalism as they face unacceptable hardships caused by the implementation of the Phoenix pay system.”

“Over the last four years, Trudeau has said all the right things about the public service,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National President. “But actions speak louder than words, and PSAC members are still waiting for him to deliver on his commitment to them. They’re still waiting to get paid properly under Phoenix and they’re still waiting to be compensated for all the hardships they’ve endured because of these countless pay problems. They shouldn’t also have to wait for the fair working conditions they deserve.”

“The window of opportunity for Trudeau to deliver on his commitment to support public service workers and the vital services they provide Canadians is closing, but it’s still there. This means delivering a fair deal for our members before the next election – and we won’t let his government off the hook.”

These sessions cover four bargaining units under Treasury Board: Program & Administrative Services (PA), Technical Services (TC), Operations Services (SV), and Education & Library Science (EB).

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