Tag Archives: EB

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.

PA, EB, SV & TC bargaining: PSAC continues pursuit of fair collective agreements and proper compensation for Phoenix

Bargaining

The tentative collective agreement settlements reached by the federal Treasury Board with some federal unions this week will not stand in the way of proper compensation for PSAC members who work for the federal government and its agencies, said PSAC National President Chris Aylward.

“Negotiations with Treasury Board for our PA, EB, TC and SV bargaining units are still at impasse, as are our negotiations with the Canada Revenue Agency,” Aylward explained. “We have just had confirmation that the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board is establishing Public Interest Commissions in each case to review the positions of the parties and make recommendations clearing the way for strike votes.”

“We are prepared to go back to the bargaining table at any time, but Treasury Board must show it is prepared to address the important concerns of our members including fair compensation for the Phoenix-related pay problems we have endured for almost four years now,” said Aylward.

The government’s last proposal to increase wages by only 1.5% each year over four years represents a pay cut in real terms. Further, the government’s negotiators continue to pursue contract concessions including the removal of the previously negotiated agreement on mental health.

“PSAC members have given our union bargaining teams a clear mandate to negotiate collective agreement improvements not rollbacks,” said Aylward.

“Our members want the federal government to live up to its promise to treat public service employees and the PSAC, the largest federal union, with respect and address long-standing problems including pay inequities, issues related to work-life balance, and the rise of precarious employment which is putting at risk reliable service to the public,” Aylward said.

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

PA, SV, EB & TC groups: PSAC declares bargaining impasse as Liberals fail to deliver

Bargaining

PSAC’s bargaining teams are declaring impasse after the Liberal government failed to make substantial progress towards a new contract. Teams representing 90,000 public service workers met with government officials from April 30 to May 2.

“PSAC members are incredibly disappointed and frustrated that, after almost a year of talks, the government squandered this critical opportunity to negotiate a fair contract for public service workers before the House rises for the federal election,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National President. “We’ve been left with no choice but to declare impasse and start the process that will lead to strike preparations.”

Rather than focusing on making quick progress at the table, the government waited two days to present what it claimed to be a comprehensive package of proposals. While some proposals, taken alone, leaned in the right direction, these were contingent on the union agreeing to unacceptable contract concessions.

After three years of the Phoenix nightmare, PSAC will not return to the table until the government shows a genuine willingness to deliver the fair deal our members deserve.

Falling short on pay and retro

The Trudeau government’s offer of 1.5 per cent in each year of four years falls well below the rate of inflation and short of the nearly 2 per cent pay raise given to Members of Parliament on May 1. Also, the government wants workers to wait for up to 18 months after the new contract is signed to receive retroactive pay. The current retro pay implementation period is 5 months.

Concessions on mental health and child care, resistance on breastfeeding breaks

The government is also insisting on dissolving the existing Memorandum of Understanding on mental health (MOU) and refusing the union’s proposals to replace it with an updated framework, putting at risk years of joint progress on this issue. Moreover, the government is refusing to implement recommendations stemming from a previous child care MOU, and is resisting our proposal to allow nursing women breastfeeding breaks. These positions are at odds with the Liberals’ claimed feminist agenda and the right to breastfeed in the Canada Labour Code.

“PSAC made it clear over the last few months that this bargaining session was Trudeau’s last chance to restore a respectful relationship with public service workers—as he promised to do back in 2015,” added Aylward. “If he’s not willing to make this right before the next election, I know PSAC members won’t forget it when they head to the ballot box.”

PSAC had previously declared bargaining impasse in December, following the government’s insulting offer of a two-year wage freeze but agreed to return to the table to give Trudeau ample opportunity to make things right.

PSAC remains committed to achieving a new contract that improves work-life balance, strengthens job security, closes wage gaps with the private sector, and ensures fair economic increases.

The bargaining sessions covered 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.