PA Group: Ratification kit

On December 17, 2016, after two-and-a-half years of negotiations, our PA bargaining team finally reached a tentative agreement with Treasury Board. Our bargaining team unanimously recommends ratification of our new agreement.

If ratified, the settlement will improve our members’ working conditions in several ways. These improvements are the product of the hard work and dedication of both our team and the membership over the course of this round of bargaining.

You can access the full tentative agreement in PDF format.


Highlights of our tentative agreement 

Economic Increases 

The tentative agreement contains significant improvements to monetary compensation for members. This includes general wage increases and allowances for certain occupations, such as compensation advisors and employees of Correctional Service of Canada (see details below). 

The total compensation for all PA group members’ amounts to a minimum increase of five-and-a-half percent over the four years of the collective agreement, plus a $650 signing bonus for those members employed in the PA bargaining unit at the time of signing of the new agreement. 

  • Effective June 21, 2014: 1.25%
  • Effective June 21, 2015: 1.25% 
  • Effective June 21, 2016: 0.5% wage adjustment for all groups and levels 
  • Effective June 21, 2016: 1.25% 
  • Effective June 21, 2017: 1.25% 
  • $650 Signing bonus 

Sick Leave

  • The sick leave provisions (article 37) of our collective agreement will remain unchanged. 
  • The parties have negotiated a memorandum of agreement to establish a task force to develop recommendations on measures to improve employee wellness and reintegration into the workplace of employees who have been on sick leave. 
  • Any future enhancements to the sick leave regime would need to be negotiated and agreed to by both parties. PSAC’s four principles are included in the MOA: sick leave provisions will be contained in the collective agreement, will provide for wage replacement, will protect and grandparent sick leave banks, and will not be administered by a third-party provider. Any enhanced sick leave regime shall contain, at minimum, these four principles. 

Workforce Adjustment Appendix 

  • What we achieved represents the most significant improvements in workforce adjustment since it was first signed as an appendix into PSAC collective agreements in 1998. 
  • Changes will reduce involuntary layoffs by allowing volunteers to come forward to leave the public service during times of workforce adjustment. 
  • Employees will now have up to fifteen months to find an alternation match. 
  • More union involvement, ensuring employees have the right to union representation during the process.
  • Limits to contracting out.
  • Improvements to the monetary provisions, including the education allowance, the counselling allowance, and the transition support measure. 

Detailed summary of the tentative agreement reached on December 17, 2016: 

ARTICLE 2 – DEFINITION OF FAMILY 

Inclusion of step-brother, step-sister, foster child, daughter-in-law and son-in-law. 

ARTICLE 14 – LEAVE WITH OR WITHOUT PAY FOR ALLIANCE BUSINESS 

Clause 14.09: Operational requirements are no longer a consideration when employees are required to take leave for negotiations. 

NEW – Clause 14.14: Effective January 1, 2018, when employees are on leave without pay for Union business for clause 14.02 (representations at the labour board for a certification or intervention); clause 14.09 (negotiations); clause 14.10 (preparation for negotiations); clause 14.12 (Board of Directors meetings, Executive Board meetings or conventions) and clause 14.13 (training courses for employee representatives), they will not experience an interruption of pay. The employer will pay them as usual and invoice the Alliance for the salary and benefits.

ARTICLE 17 – DISCIPLINE 

Increase of notice for disciplinary measures from one day to two days. 

ARTICLE 19 – NO DISCRIMINATION 

Addition of gender identity and expression in list of prohibited grounds for discrimination. 

ARTICLE 28 – OVERTIME 

Clause 28.08: When an employee opts for overtime to be paid by compensatory leave rather than pay in a fiscal year, they have until September 30 of the following fiscal year to use the leave, or it will be cashed out. Previously it was cashed out at the end of 12 months “as determined by the employer” so this new language provides clarity and one standard for PA members across all departments. 

ARTICLE 32 – TRAVELLING TIME 

Expansion of travelling time eligible for overtime pay from twelve to fifteen hours. 

ARTICLE 34 – VACATION LEAVE WITH PAY 

Members who leave the public service and then return shall have their prior service count for the calculation of vacation accrual. This gives all members the same rights as former members of the Canadian Forces, who have had their prior service in the CF recognized for vacation accrual since April 2012. Recognition of Canadian Forces service for vacation accrual has been moved from an MOU into the collective agreement. 

There are additional clarity rules regarding vacation scheduling. When employees use seniority to bid for vacation in the peak summer and winter vacation periods, they must take vacation for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days. 

ARTICLE 37 – SICK LEAVE 

The sick leave provisions of our collective agreement will remain unchanged. 

ARTICLE 38 – MATERNITY LEAVE WITHOUT PAY 

Update of language to take into account new legislation reducing the waiting period for employment insurance to one week from two weeks. 

ARTICLE 40 – PARENTAL LEAVE WITHOUT PAY 

Update of language to take into account new legislation reducing the waiting period for employment insurance to one week from two weeks. 

ARTICLE 42 – VOLUNTEER LEAVE 

Flexibility to break volunteer leave into two periods.

ARTICLE 43 – LEAVE WITH PAY FOR FAMILY-RELATED RESPONSIBILITIES 

Expansion of definition of family for whom an employee can access family-related leave to include ward of the employee, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, grandparents of the employee and any relative for whom the employee has a duty of care. 

Clause 43.03 – there is no longer a cap of 7.5 hours for the employee to use FRRL to attend school functions, or to provide for their child in case of an unforeseen closure of the school or day care facility. 

ARTICLE 46 – BEREAVEMENT LEAVE WITH PAY 

Bereavement leave was formerly for seven consecutive calendar days. Now an employee can split it into two periods so that they can access some days at the time of death and other days at a later period (but within 12 months) for the purpose of attending a memorial or ceremony. 

In addition, daughter-in-law and son-in-law have been added to the definition of family for which the employee can take the seven calendar days, and grandparents of spouse have been added the definition of family for which the employee can take one day of bereavement leave. 

ARTICLE 52 – LEAVE WITH OR WITHOUT PAY FOR OTHER REASONS 

Ability to split personal leave into two separate periods. 

NEW ARTICLE 58 – CORRECTIONAL SERVICE SPECIFIC DUTY ALLOWANCE 

The penological factor allowance (PFA) and offender supervision allowance (OSA) have been consolidated into a new correctional service specific duty allowance. The new allowance has been expanded to members in community parole offices and community correctional centres and has been increased to $2,000 annually for all. 

Previously employees in maximum security institutions were already receiving $2,000. However, those in medium institutions were getting $1,000 and those in minimums were only receiving $600. Community Parole officers were previously receiving $1,800. Members who work within community corrections centres supporting the conditional release of offenders were previously not receiving an allowance at all. 

ARTICLE 66 – DURATION 

The new agreement, if ratified by the membership, will expire on June 20, 2018. 

NEW ARTICLE – CALL CENTRE EMPLOYEES 

For the first time, the collective agreement establishes minimum standards of work for our members who work in call centres. This breakthrough provides five consecutive minutes off the phone per hour for these employees, as well as at least two days of training per year. In addition, the employer has agreed that call monitoring is for guidance and feedback only and shall not be used for disciplinary purposes. 

APPENDIX C – JOINT LEARNING PROGRAM 

Funding for the Program will be increased to $330,000 per month from previous monthly amount of $292,000. A joint study on health and safety will be funded at $50,000.

APPENDIX D – WORKFORCE ADJUSTMENT 

Voluntary program and alternation 

The two most significant gains made are ones that significantly decrease the likelihood of involuntary layoffs, by allowing volunteers to come forward to leave the public service during times of workforce adjustment. 

The voluntary program language (a new clause) has the following features: 

  • Departments and organizations are obligated to use a voluntary program in all cases where there are five or more affected employees at the same group and level in the same work unit. 
  • The voluntary program must be the subject of meaningful consultation between the department and the union. 
  • The program can only take place after affected letters have been delivered to employees. 
  • The program needs to take place before the department engages in a SERLO process. In many cases we are hoping that the program will avoid all use of the SERLO process. 
  • Volunteers need to be given a minimum of thirty days to decide if they wish to participate. This time is needed so they can carefully consider their options.
  • Volunteers will have access to options B, Ci or Cii under section 6.3 of the appendix. 
  • Finally, if the number of volunteers is larger than the required number of positions to be eliminated, seniority will be used to determine who is entitled to leave. 

Alternation 

In the past, only opting employees were allowed to alternate. Because WFA processes don’t all happen at the same time, the 120-day limit made it hard for members to find an alternate. 

Under the new agreement: 

  • Both opting AND surplus (option A) employees will be eligible to alternate. This means that employees now have up fifteen months to find an alternate. 
  • The employer will have an increased obligation to ensure that affected employees understand how alternation takes place. 
  • For alternations taking place during the surplus period, the transition support measure available to the alternate will be reduced by one week for each week of surplus period already used. 

The union’s role in WFA situations 

  • In clause 1.1.3, we have achieved agreement that departmental WFA committees are to be joint union-management committees
  • In clause 1.1.34, we reinforced the employer’s obligation to ensure that employees have the right to be represented by the union in the application of the WFAA.
  • We achieved several improvements to the notice provisions of the WFAA. The current WFAA focused on notice when employees are made affected. The new notice provisions require the union to receive copies of official notices at several other critical stages of the process, including advance notice of layoff.

Improved limits on contracting out in WFAA situations 

We have expanded the scope of clause 1.1.27, which currently states that departments are, where practicable, to refrain from re-engaging the use of consultants, contractors, temporary help agencies, and non-indeterminate staff, if doing so will allow the appointment of surplus or laid-off persons. The new clause will also require departments to review their use of contracted-out services, which is a significant expansion beyond consultants and contractors. 

The new clause also limits departments from engaging or re-engaging contractors or consultants or contracted-out services. 

Monetary improvements 

  • The transition support measure will now be calculated on the basis of an employee’s total years of service, both continuous and discontinuous, across the entire public service. 
  • The transition support measure can now be split into two amounts, payable over two years, which provides for improved tax treatment. 
  • The education allowance increases from the current $10,000 to $15,000
  • The education allowance can now be used for any “relevant” equipment related to the education course (the old language restricted use to “mandatory” equipment).
  • The allowance for financial or career counselling services available to opting employees has been increased from the current $600 to $1,000. 

APPENDIX G - MOU on Occupational Group Structure Review and Classification Reform 

Classification standards for the PA group were established more than 50 years ago. Meaningful consultation of the type of work members perform will provide complete and specific job descriptions to all members as well as serve as a basis for renegotiation of market appropriate wages. Such review shall be completed by December 30, 2017. 

APPENDIX J - MOU on Retention Allowance for Compensation Advisors 

The retention allowance has been increased to $2,500 from $2,000 and has been expanded to AS-01 and AS-03 compensation advisors.

NEW APPENDIX – CALL CENTRES 

The parties have agreed to a memorandum of understanding for a joint study on working environments in call centres. 

NEW APPENDIX – UNION LEAVE 

The parties have agreed to a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint committee to implement a system of cost recovery for leave for union business. 

NEW APPENDIX – MENTAL HEALTH 

The parties agreed in 2015 to a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint task force to improve mental health in the workplace, and work on this effort began immediately. Please visit PSAC's national website for a review of the important work being done by this joint committee. 

NEW APPENDIX – CHILDCARE 

The parties have agreed to a memorandum of understanding to undertake a joint study on childcare needs of employees. 


Your Bargaining Team, comprising of: 

Louise Blouin 
Kelly Bush 
Sargy Chima 
Tracey Cochrane 
Toufic El-Daher 
Katharine Hart 
Travis Lahnalampi 
Geoffrey Ryan 
Gail Lem (PSAC Negotiator) 
David-Alexandre Leblanc (PSAC Senior Research Officer) 
Omar Burgan (PSAC Research Officer) 

unanimously recommends acceptance of this tentative agreement.

Topics: 

Employers: 

February 15, 2017
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