Tag Archives: EB

Public Interest Commission provides its recommendations for EB group

Bargaining

PSAC has now received the Public Interest Commission’s (PIC) recommendations on issues that are specific to the Education and Library Science (EB) group. The PIC’s recommendations on issues common to all Treasury Board groups will be made available when the Commission submits its recommendations for the Program and Administrative Services (PA) group.

While the PIC recommendations are non-binding, which means the union and/or the employer can accept or reject the recommendations, we are pleased to note that the PIC agreed with some of the union’s proposals specific to the EB group.

Wage parity with comparable jobs

While the PIC did not fully address all of our key demands around wage parity and adjustments, it recognized that the employer’s wage offer was inadequate for the two parties to reach an agreement.

New national rate of pay for teachers who work for 12 months (ED-EST)

The PIC also recommended that the new national rate of pay for 12-month teachers (ED-EST) be included in the new collective agreement. The PIC pointed out that a joint committee composed of both the employer and union representatives had already reached an agreement on a new national rate of pay and that this agreement should be implemented.

Allowance for union members who teach Indigenous languages

The PIC agreed with PSAC’s position that teachers who provide First Nation language instruction should be entitled to the specialization allowance. The Commission “was struck” by the fact that the union’s proposal aligns with the recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and with the federal government’s Bill C-91, the Indigenous Languages Act.

Unfortunately, the PIC didn’t address many of PSAC’s proposals and even agreed to some of the employer’s concessions, such as on Education Leave Without Pay and Career Development. Other examples can be read in the full document on the PIC’s recommendations. In order to reach the fair deal that our members deserve, PSAC will continue to mobilize its membership through increased workplace action, up to and including a strike, until a fair settlement is reached. Stay up to date with the latest on bargaining by signing up for email updates.

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

EB bargaining: No movement in PIC and mediation

Bargaining

The EB (Education and Library Science) bargaining team was in two days of hearings at the Public Interest Commission (PIC) followed by two days of mediation from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12. Unfortunately, there has been no progress in negotiations, as the employer is deeply entrenched in its own positions. An overview of regressive proposals affecting all core public service bargaining units is available here, while EB-specific proposals are highlighted below.

PSAC is committed to continue pushing for improvements and resisting concessions in the EB collective agreement.

The union is also disappointed that the government, with all the resources at its disposal, refused to provide a PIC submission in both official languages. You can download PSAC’s EB PIC submission in English and French and access the government’s English submission here.

Wage parity with comparable jobs

PSAC has proposed wage adjustments that keep up with the wages of other employees in comparable jobs both outside and inside the federal public service. In many cases, the wages of PSAC members in the EB group are lagging far behind those of other employees in similar positions. For example, elementary and secondary school teachers (ED-EST INAC) working in Indigenous reserves in Ontario are paid up to an average of 7.3% less than teachers working for the province’s school boards. And EB vice-principals are paid up to 22% less than those in Ontario school boards, while EB principals are paid up to 20% less than their counterparts in Ontario school boards.

The employer made an insulting counter-offer of wage adjustments totaling up to just 1% for these EB positions.

New national rate of pay for teachers who work for 12 months (ED-EST)

ED-EST 12-month teachers’ wages differ province-to-province, and the transition to a new national rate of pay has been a long-standing issue. PSAC has proposed a new national rate of pay for these teachers, and a joint committee composed of both employer and union representatives had previously reached an agreement to recommend a national rate of pay that would become the basis for negotiations.

However, the employer simply dismissed the union’s demand and the joint committee’s recommendations and is again offering monetary measures totaling just 1%.

Allowance for union members who teach Indigenous languages

PSAC tabled this proposal in recognition of the need to preserve and promote Indigenous languages. Both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls call on the Federal government to invest in the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages. The Federal government itself has shown commitment to Indigenous languages when it passed the Indigenous Languages Act. The union believes that an allowance for Indigenous language teachers is a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, the employer has refused to discuss this demand at the negotiating table.

Access to professional development

Currently, the employer is obligated to provide allowances in lieu of salary to employees taking education leave—at a minimum of 50% and up to a maximum of 100% of basic salary. The employer is demanding a concession that allows the employer the option to pay or not pay an allowance and that would bring the minimum allowances down to 0%.

PSAC is pushing back on this concession, arguing that the change will limit access to professional development given the possibility of the employee receiving no allowances in lieu of salary. The union further demands that professional development days be used primarily for academic initiatives rather than departmental training purposes.

Pedagogical break for 12-month teachers (ED-EST)

Recognizing that the workload of 12-month teachers can be very intense, PSAC has proposed that these teachers be given a break with pay annually from July 1 to July 9, including one designated paid holiday. Unlike 10-month teachers, these 12-month teachers do not have a spring break. The union is simply seeking the same benefit for 12-month teachers.

The employer has responded that this would be cost prohibitive, since they would have to hire replacement teachers.

Leave benefits and alternative work arrangements

PSAC is seeking improvements to leave benefits, including for family-related responsibilities, injury-on-duty, and education and career development. The union has also proposed that employees’ requests to work away from the employer’s premises not be unreasonably denied. It is the union’s position that these demands will help address the issue of work-life balance.

The employer has rejected all these demands and has offered no provisions that address work-life balance.

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

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.