The TC Bargaining team returned to Ottawa this week for negotiations with Treasury Board. Negotiations took place from March 24 – 26th, with the remainder of the week spent in issue-specific committees, and in strategy and all-teams meetings.
Our team welcomed the TI Subcommittee, who joined us on March 23rd and 24th. The TI Subcommittee represents TI members working in all modes at Transport Canada who do not currently receive the terminable allowance, or who continue to experience retention and recruitment issues despite the terminable allowance. The subcommittee, along with the four TI’s on the bargaining team, allow us to represent TI members across the TC group.
The members of this subcommittee are:
- Jeff Crawford (Rail Safety) *unable to attend the meeting
- Alison Johnstone (Aviation Security)
- Mike Lucking (Aerodrome)
- François Rousseau (Marine Safety)
- Katherine Smith (Dangerous Goods, Surface)
- John Vincent (Dangerous Goods, Aviation)
- Kim Wyllie (Cabin Safety/AOSH)
Our time together was extremely productive. Working with the subcommittee, we were able to learn more about the duties performed by members working in these various modes, how the work has changed, the challenges of retention and recruitment, and the need for employer to address these challenges. As retention and recruitment becomes more acute, the employer is pushing members to perform multi-modal work and hiring new TIs with very little experience. This puts additional pressure on our members and on their ability to get their work done.
We discussed mobilization strategies for members in this group and encouraged these members to work together, to exercise their rights in the workplace, and to continue to share information with us. Our discussions will help us build the TC pay and allowances demands and other creative solutions that we can advance for the membership.
The TC team thanks the members of the TI Subcommittee for coming to Ottawa and sharing their expertise with us. We look forward to continuing to work together and representing issues of all TI members. This information sharing and solidarity makes the TC group stronger and helps to support our bargaining team. The team will be welcoming our Dockyards Trades subcommittee in the near future.
Addressing health and safety
Our TC team worked to advance the issues at the bargaining table. We continued to press the employer on our wellness demands, including the adoption of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
The employer made a presentation on their proposed changes to Appendix C (which governs Fishery Officers in the General Technical Group, Working on Off-Shore Surveillance in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans). Our team met with the Enforcement Subcommittee in January to better understand the workings of Appendix C and the challenges faced by the members governed by this appendix. The changes the employer is seeking have the potential to negatively impact over 600 Fishery Officers across the country. We believe the employer is looking to create a more flexible workforce by imposing shift work on day workers. Our team will be consulting the Enforcement Committee to fully address the employer’s proposal.
Our team remains committed to fighting any employer proposal that is dangerous to the health and safety of our membership. This includes challenging any attempt to create hybrid day/shift workers or the destruction of our sick leave. We tabled further demands to protect members against imposed shift work, as well as enhancing the rest period between shifts. We reminded the employer that we are here to make improvements, not concessions, to the collective agreement, and that healthy workplaces include the safety and security of our membership.
Agreement on task force on mental health
PSAC reached a deal with Treasury Board on a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint task force on mental health. PSAC tabled the proposal in January to ensure a more proactive approach to improving mental health. The task force, made up of an equal number of union and employer representatives, will have a long-term focus on continuous improvement and the successful implementation of measures to improve mental health in the workplace.
Improved compensatory leave
We negotiated an improvement to compensatory leave, expanding the period members can take their compensatory leave to September of the following year from which the overtime was performed.
Our team members regularly speak at membership information meetings across the country. Please come out and learn more about the negotiation of the collective agreement! We look forward to seeing you at upcoming meetings and mobilization activities. For regular updates, please sign up for email updates.