The EB bargaining team met with the employer for a six-day marathon bargaining session from November 4 to 9. The employer failed to adequately address our key issues related to fair compensation, recognition and respect. The employer’s comprehensive offer also failed to adequately address our monetary priorities and sought to remove protective language in the collective agreement.
Monetary and non-monetary demands
We discussed outstanding non-monetary and monetary demands such as, the definition of family, bereavement leave, hours of work, allowances and pay. While some progress was made on a number of those issues, the parties haven’t been able to come to a final resolution on any of them.
Wage increase offer
The employer also tabled a 0.75 per cent general economic increase, which does not keep pace with the rising cost of living. Twelve-month teachers have been waiting over a decade for a much needed market adjustment to their pay.
The employer also failed to adequately address pay inequities for our LS members working alongside librarians from PIPSC and CAPE who are better compensated. Likewise, the employer failed to address the gaps in pay between 10-month teachers/aids (mostly Indigenous women) and educators in neighbouring schools who are doing the same work.
We continue to seek improvements to the current sick leave regime. We’ve made some progress over the last session on this issue. The Employer has proposed a Memorandum of Agreement to deal with sick leave, in order to allow for discussion. We have been very clear that any discussion must respect our principles. Our principles with regard to sick leave remain the same – it must be contained in the collective agreement, it must provide for wage replacement, sick leave banks must be preserved and there must be no third party provider.
So far the government has refused to address our key proposals with regard to the Workforce Adjustment Appendix. Given the stress and turmoil that many PSAC members faced during the four-year period of public sector cuts and layoffs, we want to ensure that WFA operates in a fair, transparent and impartial manner.
PSAC has suggested further bargaining with the assistance of a mediator.
Our bargaining team remains committed to addressing these important monetary issues. It is time for the Liberal government to deliver on their promises and demonstrate respect for public service workers at the bargaining table.
Stay tuned for updates. Our bargaining team will keep you informed throughout this process.