Following the announcement that the Liberal government is repealing sections of the anti-union Bill C-4, enacted by the Harper Conservatives, our bargaining team returned to the negotiating table, hopeful that Treasury Board had a new mandate to engage in serious collective bargaining.
Any optimism we had was dashed almost immediately by the employer’s opening statement that they were willing to make some minor movements only on the condition that the union remove a significant number of our demands from the table.
Our bargaining team invited Morna Ballantyne, PSAC’s Special Projects Officer responsible for the union’s childcare campaign, to outline the need for affordable childcare. Her presentation was informative and persuasive. We are looking to develop a joint national committee with the employer to assess child care needs of federal public sector workers and make recommendations on how to best meet those needs.
Wages and other demands
We presented our complete economic package, as well as language on whistleblowing, rest breaks during overtime, and language on acting pay, workplace violence and electronic surveillance. We also reviewed all of our outstanding issues with the employer.
We signed off on minor changes to the Personal Leave and Volunteer Leave articles, allowing employees to take the leave in half days.
We’ll be back at the bargaining table in September. If you see your Member of Parliament in the summer, please tell him or her to keep their hands off our sick leave. And if that MP is a Liberal, please remind him or her that the Liberals were elected on a promise of showing respect to the public service. It’s time to change their bargaining mandate from the one they inherited from Stephen Harper.
Our position on the employer’s short-term disability plan remains unchanged, but we continue to seek either a renewal or improvements to the current sick leave regime.
In a meeting this week, the Coordinated Issues Committee, which includes representatives from all five PSAC bargaining teams for the core public administration, said that any short-term disability plan must reside in the collective agreement.
Stay informed and get involved
Our bargaining team will keep you informed throughout this process. In the coming weeks, we will advise you of the next round of bargaining dates. Watch this page for updates and be sure to talk to your colleagues about the importance of supporting our union throughout this process.
Get involved and spread the word, so we can keep the pressure on the employer and fight back against concessions