The Labour Board has rejected a request from Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) management to delay the creation of a Public Interest Commission (PIC), a key step in the collective bargaining process.
PSAC had filed for a PIC in August, after talks with the CFIA reached impasse, but the employer responded by asking the Board to delay the creation of a PIC.
In its decision, issued earlier this month, the Board found that a sufficient number of bargaining meetings had taken place to justify PIC hearings. PSAC is now awaiting dates for PIC hearings from the Board.
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's bargaining team will reconvene to discuss the recommendations. Typically, PSAC’s team 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 CFIA 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.
Keep your contact information up to date
Please stay in touch with the local at your workplace and, if you haven’t done so yet, sign-up for e-mail bargaining updates here.
PSAC at CFIA : Bargaining for our future!
Atlantic: Jan Pennington
Québec: Audrey St-Germain
National Capital Region: Marlene O’Neil
Ontario: Robert MacDonald
Manitoba: Andrew Neufeld
Saskatchewan: Karen Zoller
Alberta: Dorothy McRae
British Columbia: Terri Lee
Negotiator: Hassan Husseini
Research Officer: Silja Freitag