In negotiations this week with Treasury Board, our PA bargaining team called for the employer to join PSAC in a national joint committee to tackle the issue of affordable and accessible child care for all federal public service workers.
Public Works has been slowly ending subsidies for day care centres operating in several federal government buildings across the country, in some cases for more than two decades.
As an example, the Tupper Tots daycare in Ottawa closed its doors in 2014 after its rental subsidy was pulled. Today, the daycare at the Guy Favreau building in Montreal, and several others, are in jeopardy of closing, leaving potentially hundreds of parents who are federal government workers without childcare.
With a proposal that is common to all PSAC Treasury Board bargaining units, our bargaining team called on the employer to come together with the union over the life of the new agreement to examine options for providing appropriate day care facilities.
Definition of family
In a related vein, the bargaining team also reviewed with Treasury Board our proposal to expand the definition of family. We also proposed to remove language in the definition prohibiting an employee from accessing bereavement leave or family-related leave for any other relative for whom the employee has a duty of care unless that relative resides in the same household. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has found such language to be discriminatory, although Treasury Board is appealing that decision. We pointed out that the NJC Relocation Directive has already been amended to remove this discriminatory language.
The PA team also proposed a Memorandum of Understanding for professional development of Parole and Program Officers at the Correctional Service of Canada. We explained the need for these members to have appropriate opportunities for professional training and development.
We also pressed for a Compensatory Leave provision as per the provision signed off at the TC table a full year ago, allowing employees up to 18 months to use compensatory leave before it is cashed out.
We also offered a Memorandum of Understanding requiring the employer to disclose what the operational needs are, should it refuse leave requests due to “operational requirements.
We also discussed the need for whistleblowing language to be enshrined in the Collective Agreement to protect employees who report wrongdoing.
Our position is that we continue to seek either a renewal or improvements to the current sick leave regime.
General economic increases
All PSAC tables proposed a general economic increase of 3% per year this week. This is in addition to the allowances and market adjustments that our team has or will be making in subsequent bargaining sessions.
We discussed our proposed changes to the Workforce Adjustment Appendix. The employer's bargaining team had a significant number of questions about our proposals that we will respond to in our next meeting. We reiterated our position against the contracting out of work. Many unions have identified this issue as a major concern in this round of bargaining.
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