The bargaining team representing the common issues for nearly 80,000 public service workers resumed contract negotiations with Treasury Board (TB) on October 10-11, but left the meetings disappointed and frustrated. TB negotiators have yet to table proposals on a number of issues they previously flagged for discussion, and came to the table with no response to most of PSAC’s proposals, which they have had since June.
Employees are to be paid on time, and daily interest is to be paid to employees who do not receive their proper pay, based on the Bank of Canada’s daily compounded interest rate.
No repayments of overpayments are to be made until all the employee’s pay issues have been resolved. Moreover, the repayment schedule will not exceed 10% of the employee’s net pay unless the employee opts for a larger amount.
Rules around salary and benefit advances, and language providing for accountant and financial management counselling for employees negatively impacted by Phoenix.
PSAC’s bargaining team put Treasury Board on notice that for the next common issues bargaining session scheduled for the first week of December, we expect government negotiators to table the remainder of their proposals, and to finally start negotiating seriously.
PSAC will return to the bargaining table with Treasury Board on Oct. 10 to 11 to negotiate issues common to the Program and Administrative Services group (PA), Operational Services group (SV), Technical Services group (TC), and the Education and Library Science group (EB). Negotiations on issues specific to each table will resume from Oct. 16 to 17.
At the last round of negotiations in July, PSAC came to the table with clear proposals and a strong mandate to move forward. Unfortunately, the employer did not show that same level of commitment, and instead was unprepared to make any real progress.
When we sit down to bargain in October, we’ll be focused on important issues like:
ensuring salaries keep up with inflation, and that wage gaps are closed;
improving work-life balance like extending the parental leave top-up from 37 weeks to the full 63 weeks now available;
addressing workload and reducing the use of temp agencies and precarious contract work.
After two years and a half years of hardships under Phoenix, our members continue to show up to work every day and deliver the services Canadians depend on. The least this government can do is negotiate a collective agreement that recognizes that commitment and the importance of the services they provide to Canadians.
It’s outrageous that PSAC members are still waiting to get paid correctly – they shouldn’t also have to wait to get the working conditions they deserve.
After more than two years of hardships under Phoenix, our members continue to show up to work every day and deliver the services Canadians depend on. PSAC expects this government to negotiate a collective agreement that recognizes the value of their work and their dedication to Canadians.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has filed a policy grievance on behalf of the Program and Administrative Services (PA) bargaining unit in response to Treasury Board failing to meet classification reform deadlines.
The classification reform process
Classification reform across most of our Treasury Board bargaining units has been a painstakingly slow process that was further delayed throughout the years of Harper’s cutbacks.
In the last round of negotiations, PSAC’s bargaining team negotiated stronger language into the PA collective agreement regarding a review of the occupational group structure, as well as general timelines for classification reform. The occupational group structure review was to be completed by December 30, 2017.
Failing to meet deadlines
During this round of bargaining, the employer was expected to come to the table ready to negotiate with new classification standards and job descriptions for the PA group. The employer has failed to meet that obligation, which has led to the filing of the policy grievance.
PSAC’s long-standing objectives on classification reform continue to be:
replacement of the current, very outdated Treasury Board classification system;
development of job evaluation standards and job descriptions that reflect current work realities and that are pay equity compliant.
Now that collective bargaining has resumed we will be addressing this issue at the negotiation table in addition to enforcing the existing contract.
PSAC will continue to pursue a classification system that will evaluate and compensate all of our members fairly and equitably for the important work they do.
As Treasury Board bargaining resumed this week, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) responded to the employer’s proposals with a clear mandate for improvements to working conditions. PSAC’s PA, EB, TC and SV bargaining teams highlighted the need for greater work-life balance and improvements to pay and leave, among other important gains for federal public service workers.
Unfortunately, the employer was only prepared to offer their first impressions of PSAC’s non-monetary proposals. It’s disappointing that PSAC came to the table fully ready to bargain, but Treasury Board was only concerned with resolving ‘housekeeping’ issues at this stage.
The majority of federal public service workers have suffered under Phoenix for more than two years and continue to provide Canadians with the critical services they depend on. We expect the government to come to the table prepared to negotiate a contract that reflects that dedication, as well as the value of their work.
PSAC members are still waiting for their Phoenix pay problems to end; they should not have to wait for the working conditions they deserve.