Parks Canada: Negotiations progress gradually

Moraine lake at sunset in autumn, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

This week, negotiations continued towards securing a new collective agreement for over 4,000 Parks Canada members. Bargaining teams from both sides met in Ottawa from April 30 to May 2.

PSAC’s Parks negotiating team saw some movement at the bargaining table, but in small increments. Although the employer did come to the table with more language in this round, they still showed reluctance to move on major items. Most of the negotiations this week focused on non-monetary articles.

Securing Phoenix protections

This week, our negotiating team tabled our Phoenix pay administration proposal, which includes language to secure interest on monies owed if the employer fails to pay employees on time. This provision also includes reimbursements for members who have to seek accounting and financial management services to remedy inaccurate income reporting. Also included are other provisions to protect employees such as deduction rules for overpayment and emergency salary advances. The employer has yet to respond to this proposal.

The importance of domestic violence leave

The highlight of the week was our presentation to the employer on the value of domestic violence leave. PSAC presented overwhelming research on what's at stake for those experiencing domestic violence and how this impacts the workplace. Our team emphasized the importance of accommodations and the cost of doing nothing. The employer seemed receptive to this proposal, which resulted in a productive discussion.

No progress on key items

Discussions continued on other bargaining demands such as vacation leave, whistleblowing, the Joint Learning Program, designated paid holidays, vacation leave, injury on duty leave, and joining the National Joint Council. During this time our bargaining team secured minor improvements to harassment language and in the articles relating to the definition of family.

Bargaining team rejects clawbacks

Unfortunately, the employer continues to ask for concessions concerning seasonal employees. The employer wants to prorate the number of family-related days for seasonal employees which would ultimately reduce the amount of leave members would have access to. Our negotiation team firmly conveyed to the employer that we will not accept concessions.

Parks Canada negotiations are set to continue May 28 to 30.  

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May 3, 2019
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