Tag Archives: TC

Bargaining: TC group PIC report identifies wage gaps, allowances and occupational group structure as places for movement at the table

Bargaining

A positive Public Interest Commission (PIC) report has been issued for the TC group recommending the employer move on several important issues raised by your bargaining team. The report names a number of TC’s priorities such as closing wage gaps, parity with CFIA for EGs, increased allowances, and movement on the archaic classification system as areas where the employer can improve its offer. Though the report does not recommend everything in our proposals, its support of key issues demonstrates the union’s demands have been fair and reasonable.

Wage Gaps

Similar to the PA PIC report, TC’s PIC report points to general wage increases and special adjustments as being a major issue that has halted negotiations. It recommends the employer address wage rates if it expects to reach a tentative agreement with the TC group. PSAC expects a fair wage offer that does not require our members to buy allowances for some members out of the overall wage increases for all.

Parity with CFIA for EG Group

The PIC report acknowledged the wage discrepancy between those classified as EGs in the TC group and their counterparts at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In 2018, your union signed an MOU with Treasury Board stating that there is no difference between EGs at CFIA and at those in the TC group. However, there is still a 3.3% salary gap between those different EGs. The PIC recommends that this gap be addressed.

Allowances

The PIC report recommends allowances for the following groups:

  • Transportation Inspectors at Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board
  • Fishery Officers
  • Environmental Enforcement and Wildlife Officers
  • EGs and TIs at fleet maintenance facilities and Workshop 202
  • Search and Rescue Coordinators and Hover Craft Crew members at Canadian Coast Guard
  • Labour Affairs Officers, and
  • Technical Inspectors at Measurement Canada

The report does not recommend specific amounts, nor suggests movement for all groups the union has tabled allowances for. However, PSAC welcomes the recommendation for movement on these specific allowances.

Occupational Group Structure

The PIC also recognized the importance of implementing new job evaluation standards. The employer has already missed several deadlines to put in place a new structure and classification system. Though the employer wants another extension until June 2021, the PIC recommends that the employer offer more and urges the employer to have new standards in place before the next round of bargaining. PSAC is seeking substantial penalties, payable from the beginning of 2020, for the employer failing to have the new standards ready for this round of negotiations.

Next steps

Although National President Chris Aylward has authorized strike votes for the TC bargaining unit, all strike votes are currently suspended until March 30. At that time the union will re-evaluate whether to continue the suspension or resume the strike votes.

Despite the suspension of votes, PSAC will continue to bargain for all units currently in negotiations.

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

Strike votes for PA, SV, TC & EB bargaining units begin March 16

Union member protesting

PSAC National President Chris Aylward has authorized strike votes for members of the PA, SV, TC and EB bargaining units following the release of the Public Interest Commission (PIC) report last week.

More than 90,000 members of the four bargaining units will have an opportunity to vote at strike meetings to be held from March 16 to May 7, 2020. Strike votes for the 27,000 members of the Canada Revenue Agency bargaining unit are already underway.

“PSAC bargaining teams need a strong strike mandate from members to force Treasury Board to come back to the bargaining table with a new mandate so that we can get a fair settlement quickly,” said Aylward.

Aylward noted that the Public Interest Commission (PIC) report on common issues made it clear that to reach a deal the government will need to offer PSAC members more Phoenix compensation and a wage increase in line with the cost of living. The report also highlighted the need to address compensation gaps and recruitment/retention challenges for those groups that are underpaid relative to comparable groups inside or outside the federal public sector.

The government’s current offer falls short on all fronts. They have yet to table wage increases that would ensure rises in the cost of living are met, and their Phoenix compensation proposal remains meagre and unequal across the public service.

“The threat of a strike will give the employer the nudge it needs to avoid more disruption during their minority government,” said Aylward.

“That’s why we urge all PSAC members to vote yes.”

In the coming weeks members will receive notices of strike vote meetings via email and through your locals and regional offices. The information will also be posted on the front page of the national website, as well on PSAC regional websites.

Please check out the following link if you would like more information on strike votes and strike action. We’ll be adding more information in the days ahead to answer a wide range of questions so make sure to check back.

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

TC bargaining: Government unwilling to budge on 10-year-old wages and 40-year-old job standards

Bargaining

The TC (Technical Services) bargaining team was in two days of hearings at the Public Interest Commission (PIC) followed by two days of mediation from December 17 to 19. 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 TC-specific proposals are highlighted below.

PSAC is committed to continue pushing for improvements and resisting concessions in the TC 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 TC PIC submission in English and French and access the government’s English only 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 TC group are lagging far behind those of other employees in similar positions. We have a pay study showing large wage gaps.

After more than a decade of frozen wages and rising inflation, the employer made an insulting counter-offer of wage adjustments totaling up to just 1% for these TC positions.

CFIA Comparability

We have an agreement with the employer that all EGs are equivalent to EGs who work at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). However, EGs at CFIA are paid 3.3% more than EGs in the TC group.  We argued that all EG members should be paid that higher rate.

The employer has agreed that there is a gap, although they have stated the only movement they would make will come out of the 1%. That is to say that they won’t make up the entire gap, and that this amount will come out of the pockets of non-EG members.

Group Specific Allowances

Many smaller groups have huge wage gaps compared to their internal or their external comparators. PSAC is pushing to make up these gaps. This means we will push to:

  • expand some of the allowances to include more members
  • increase some allowances
  • introduce a number of new allowances for members

Again, the employer has agreed that there are a number of problems, although they reiterated the only movement they would make will come out of the 1%.

Fair Classification and the Occupational Group Structure

The classification system is broken and we are pushing for a commitment from the employer to get through the process of providing a new occupational group structure for the TC group, which is the first step in providing an updated and fair classification system so that members are all properly classified and paid fairly. For some of our members, their job standards are approaching 40 years old. We have waited long enough for this system to be implemented and are looking to negotiate a clear clause that would result in a concrete penalty for the employer if they miss any future deadlines.

The employer is trying to push off the date that they must complete this process.  They have repeatedly been unable to meet any deadlines that have been set to fix the broken classification system. The employer has not been willing to make any commitments that will hold them accountable for completing this process.

Leaves and Other Common Issues

There is a large number of issues which are common to all of PSAC’s members in the federal government which are at the common-issues table. This list of issues includes improvements to vacation leave and other leaves, better protections for members in the event of layoffs, protections from discrimination and harassment, and new language on domestic violence leave.

These are not negotiated at our table, but there is still a long way to push the employer to respond to our issues.

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 PSAC email updates.

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