SV Group: Ratification kit

On February 4, 2017, after two-and-a-half years of negotiations, our SV 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 improvements to monetary compensation for members. This includes general wage increases, improvements for allowances for certain occupations as well as market adjustment to wages as per the Joint Wage Study conducted in 2014 (see details below).

The total compensation for all SV group members’ amounts to a minimum increase of five percent (5%) over the four years of the collective agreement, plus extra increases for specific occupations as outlined below.

  • Effective August 5, 2014: 1.25%
  • Effective August 5, 2015: 1.25%
  • Effective August 5, 2016: 1.25%
  • Effective August 5, 2017: 1.25%

Market Adjustments

Adjustments effective August 5, 2016, prior to the General Economic Increase (GEI):

FR: 15%

GL-COI: 0.5%

GL-EIM: 6%

GL-MAM: 2.5%

GL-MDO: 0.5%

GL-PIP: 2%

GL-VHE: 9%

GL-WOW: 2%

GS-group: 0.75%

HP group: 15%

Wage Adjustments

Increases effective August 5, 2016, prior to GEI:

GL-AIM: 2.5%

GL-AMW: 2.5%

GL-ELE: 0.5%

GL-GHW: 2.5%

GL-INM: 2.5%

GL-MAN: 2.5%

GL-MOC: 2.5%

GL-MST: 2.5%

GL-PCF: 0.5%

GL-PRW: 2.5%

GL-SMW: 0.5%

HS group: 0.75%

LI group: 1.5%

PR(S) group: 0.5%

SC group: 5%

Sick Leave

  • The sick leave provisions (article 36) 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 February 4, 2017:

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 14.02 & 14.09: Operational requirements are no longer a consideration when employees are required to take leave for representation for certification and 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 35 – 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.

ARTICLE 36 – 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 39 – 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 41 – VOLUNTEER LEAVE

Volunteer leave will be deleted from the collective agreement, on April 1st in the year following the signing of the agreement and moved to Article 52 (Personal Leave with Pay).

ARTICLE 42 – 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 42.03 – 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 44 – MATERNITY-RELATED REASSIGNMENT OR LEAVE

Expansion of reassignment from 24 to 52 weeks.

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

Clause 52.02 - Merged Volunteer Leave with Personal Leave (to a maximum of two days) that can now be taken for reasons of a personal nature. Employees now have ability to take this leave in full or half days.

ARTICLE 56 – EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND EMPLOYEE FILES

Clause 56.03 - Employees may now request to examine their personnel file at any time rather than only once per year.

New Clause 56.04 - When a report pertaining to an employee’s conduct is placed in their personnel file, that employee will now have the right to access the report, sign the report to indicate it has been read, attach a written response to the report.

NEW ARTICLE 57 – CORRECTIONAL SERVICE SPECIFIC DUTY ALLOWANCE

Replaced the old Penological Service Allowance with a new Correctional Service Specific Duty Allowance. Increase of allowance to $2,000 annually for all.

Previously employees in maximum security institutions were already getting $2,000, however those in medium institutions were getting $1,000 and those in minimums were getting $600, the latter two will receive an increase. Parole officers were getting $1,800 and will see their allowance increased to $2,000 as well.

ARTICLE 69 – DURATION

The new agreement, if ratified by the membership, will expire on August 4, 2018.

APPENDICES B (General Labour and Trades Group, C (General Service Group), G (Ship’s Crews)

  • Appendix B – 1.10 (Rest Periods).
  • Appendix C – 2.07 (Rest Periods and Meal Breaks)
  • Appendix G – 2.02 (Rest Periods).

Rest period increased from 10 to 15 minutes.

APPENDIX F – LIGHTKEEPERS (LI)

Allowance increases:

  • Annex B – Supplementary: $2,237 (in 1 and 2-man stations) & $1,917 (in 4-man stations)
  • Annex C - Rotational Food: $200.

APPENDIX G – SHIP’S CREWS (SC)

2.01 (c) Meals will now constitute part of the work period when required to eat.

Allowance increases:

•           Rescue Specialist: $136

•           Armed Boarding: $158

APPENDIX J – 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 I – 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.

NEW APPENDIX – PRESUMPTIVE CANCER COVERAGE FOR FR GROUP

The parties agree that a letter be sent from Treasury Board President to Provinces requesting that appropriate steps be taken to ensure that federal firefighters are covered by provincial presumptive cancer legislations (Provincial Workers Compensation Acts).

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.

NEW APPENDIX – TERMINABLE ALLOWANCE

The parties agreed to give a new $8,000 Annual Terminable Allowance for GL-MAM refrigeration/HVAC technicians, instead of a percentage market adjustment as per the 2014 Joint Wage Study.

NEW APPENDIX – SC COMPENSATION

The parties agreed to create a Joint Committee to examine Ships’ Crew (SC) compensation. The Committee will meet within 180 days of the date signing of the CA.

 

Your Bargaining Team, comprising of:

Melvin Dureen

Blair Winger

Serge Desbiens

Frank Nitschmann

Marcelo Lazaro

Bill Ryan

Hassan Husseini (PSAC Negotiator)

Janson LaBond (PSAC Research Officer)

unanimously recommends acceptance of this tentative agreement.

 

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February 14, 2017
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