PA team defends sick leave and other workplace rights

The PA bargaining team met with our Treasury Board counterparts for three days during the week of September 8, 2014. 

The government presented the same proposal to gut sick leave to all of the Treasury Board bargaining tables. Among other things, the government’s proposal calls for a short-term disability plan, the elimination of sick leave banks and a maximum of 37.5 hours of sick leave a year. All of the PSAC bargaining teams rejected this proposal.

We delivered the following message at the table:

We come to the bargaining table every three years or so to improve wages and working conditions for our members. We are interested in negotiating any provisions that will result in a healthier workplace and will improve the public service. We think your sick leave demands will create hardships for our members, so we are not interested.

After the TB team presented their sick leave proposal, our team stood up to prominently display t-shirts provided by PSAC Atlantic, stating “Give up Our Sick Leave? Hell NO!”

There is a special technical committee comprised of members of the five TB bargaining teams that is working on sick leave – a very important issue. Please feel free to contact your union representative with any feedback.

Fixing compensation

Also at the bargaining table, Treasury Board provided a presentation on the Occupational Group Structure-Classification Reform process that was first negotiated into the 2007 collective agreement. This is an important issue for so many PSAC members who are not being properly compensated because of our outdated classification standards. Our team expressed our outrage about Treasury Board’s lack of progress on classification reform. TB negotiators said the task was bigger and more complex than they originally anticipated.

Our team signed off on a change of mileage rates to kilometric rates, which is consistent with the National Joint Council directive. Additional topics discussed included:

  • The union’s proposals to add gender identity and expression to the “no discrimination” clause
  • Adding Treasury Board policies on pre-retirement, self-funded leave and leave with income averaging to the collective agreement
  • Improving the compassionate care language and moving it to a stand-alone article
  • Expanding the definition of family in the collective agreement

Our bargaining team will keep you informed throughout this process. Help support our efforts by speaking to your co-workers and participating in upcoming workplace information sessions.

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September 12, 2014