The Statistical Survey Operations (SSO) bargaining teams are considering merging the Regional Offices and Field teams together to negotiate better working conditions for all SSO members as contract talks continue.
Before the latest bargaining session in March, the employer informed PSAC that they would be filing an official application at the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) for a single certificate instead of the two that currently exist.
Our union consulted with our legal counsel and agreed that there were no legal grounds for us to oppose the employer’s application, and in fact agreed that it would provide an opportunity to negotiate a better contract for all workers.
A consolidated bargaining unit would give us greater strength in numbers – combining more than 900 members from Regional Offices with 550 members from Field Units – to negotiate one collective agreement that raises the bar for everyone.
The process may take up to several months to complete once the application is submitted and PSAC and the employer wait for the Board’s decision.
Outlining next steps
After almost a year of delay, due in part to the pandemic, negotiations between the union bargaining teams representing the Field and Regional Offices units and SSO kicked off in December. The parties met again in January and the beginning of March 2021.
During the March bargaining session, Field and Regional Offices bargaining teams discussed our next steps in light of the potential merger. Our challenge now is to rework our proposals and make gains in the context of one collective agreement instead of two. Both bargaining teams would be merged into one, and we are reviewing the current collective agreements and proposals before resubmitting a comprehensive proposals package.
Share your thoughts and concerns
We know that this process raises a lot of questions for all our members at SSO. It is only natural for many to feel anxious about the uncertainly of the consolidation process, and its impact on your terms and conditions of employment.
Rest assured that your current collective agreement will remain in place until we negotiate your next contract, and we continue to be guided by the overall priorities identified at the national bargaining conference held at the end of 2019. Your PSAC negotiator, Hassan Husseini, will continue to attend local AGMs and special bargaining info sessions to provide the latest developments in negotiations and to hear directly from members.