We spent the week of November 18 in negotiations with Treasury Board, seeking to improve workplace conditions on behalf of more than 100,000 of our members. In doing so, we put forward proposals that would both protect workers strengthen public services for all Canadians.
Strengthening transparency on public service delivery
We are seeking significant changes to the Workforce Adjustment Appendix, the rules that govern how staff reductions are achieved in the federal public service.
Our bargaining teams tabled nearly 30 improvements to the document during negotiations with Treasury Board on Wednesday.
PSAC is calling for a more transparent process and increased consultation on how to best meet the mandate of the federal public service while also minimizing involuntary departures. Canadians deserve more transparency on the impact of job reductions on the public services they depend on, and on the employees who deliver them.
“The way in which public services were cut placed a huge stress on our members. We need to learn from our experience to make improvements to the system, by better consulting the people who actually deliver the services and treating them fairly if cuts occur,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President.
Fighting for healthier workplaces
The government presented a second sick leave proposal that would still force workers to work while sick. It merely tweaks the proposal that Treasury Board tabled in September, which was soundly rejected by all PSAC teams. We will stand firm in our defence of sick leave and will not take concessions on this important issue.
Our union recently put forward a package of proposals aimed at making workplaces healthier for all federal employees. This includes measures to reduce stress for frontline employees, prevent workplace harassment, improve maternal health and improve conditions for shift workers. A healthy work-life balance is good for employees and for the sustainability of public services.
In addition to these union-wide priorities, bargaining teams focused on these occupation-specific issues:
- EB: Discussions sought to curb the use of casual employees. We also presented proposals on the definition of family and to improve anti-discrimination and harassment rules.
- FB: Talks focused on preventing management’s abuse of authority and preventing the contracting out of our members’ work
- PA: We were able to reach agreement on adding gender identity to the anti-discrimination clause in the collective agreement. Our team also sought to expand the definition of “family” and improve policies on policies on pre-retirement transition, self-funded leave and leave with income averaging.
- SV: We formed a specific subcommittee to focus on issues relevant to ships’ crews. Our team also discussed the pay study, which is due to be released soon. Our members are eager to see the issue of salary parity addressed.
- TC: We focused on the importance of salary equity and the Occupational Group Structure Review. Subcommittees that seek to represent the specific interests of workers in diverse occupations within the TC group will compliment our work.