One year later, Parks Canada claims it still has no mandate to bargain

The Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearing for Parks Canada bargaining took place January 27 to 28, with mediation January 29 to 30. Your Parks bargaining team came to the PIC ready to resolve outstanding issues, yet the Parks Canada Agency came to the hearing singing the same old tune.

Read the PSAC's PIC brief and the employer's PIC brief

After a solid year of bargaining, the employer still hasn’t tabled a formal pay proposal, neither has it taken a position on implementation, Work Force Adjustment (WFA) or Phoenix. The agency continues to claim it doesn’t have a mandate from Treasury Board despite the fact that Parks Canada members have been working without a contract since August 2018.

Limited progress

The Parks bargaining team was able to make limited progress on a few items in mediation. They achieved a letter of understanding (LOU) for a Joint Learning Program (JLP) pilot project with money attached. They also got the employer to drop concessions on hours of work, overtime, callback and reporting. Concessions for seasonal and term workers remain outstanding.  

Future bargaining

As the employer seems unwilling to bargain in a meaningful manner, no further meeting dates have been set. PSAC expects the PIC report in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned for further updates that will detail the report’s recommendations.

Will we strike?

Your bargaining team continues to seek parity and fairness, improved work-life balance, increased job security and fair compensation for all Parks Canada workers, and they will not concede to anything less. Our expectation is that the employer will get a revised mandate in the near future that brings both parties closer together, but each time they squander an opportunity to negotiate, it seems unlikely this will happen without increased pressure.

If PSAC and the employer are still unable to reach an agreement after the PIC report is issued, members will have the opportunity to join Canada Revenue Agency workers and take a strike vote. History has taught us that the best way to avoid strikes is to prepare for one. A strong strike mandate from our members often persuades the employer to come back to the table with a better offer.

In order to reach the fair deal that our members deserve, PSAC will continue to mobilize its membership through increased workplace action, up to and including a strike, until a fair settlement is reached.

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February 7, 2020