Treasury Board bargaining: new government, old mandate

Treasury Board bargaining teams met this week for the first time since the election of the new Liberal government.

We brought forward proposals addressing the needs that were identified by the membership and continue to work toward achieving a fair collective agreement.

Given the Liberals’ election promises, we expected this government to bring forward a new bargaining mandate. In fact there was little indication of a change in approach. 

We will not trade away sick leave

Treasury Board negotiators tabled a proposal similar to that of the previous Conservative government, that would replace our existing sick leave plan. It takes away existing rights and leaves members worse off. The proposed short term disability plan would fall outside of the collective agreement and allow the government to make unilateral changes any time.

We remain open to improvements on sick leave but we will not negotiate concessions or agree to any proposal that forces members to choose between losing pay or going to work sick.

Fair bargaining and Bill C4

We are pleased to see the government move to repeal Bill C59 (division 20), but there is still another unfair labour law on the books. The unconstitutional changes to labour laws governing the collective bargaining process under C4 remain a key issue. 

It is a mystery why the government is not repealing this legislation in light of the clear pronouncements made by the Supreme Court in the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour case. We will continue to move forward with our litigation and take all necessary steps to ensure that there is free and fair collective bargaining for the federal public service.

At the bargaining table, PSAC will continue to focus on measures to improve the delivery and quality of public services and make the federal public service an efficient and healthy place to work. This benefits all Canadians.

  • EB: Our team focused on the issue of class sizes and making sure that our recommendations about the pay study are recognized and followed. For more info: psacunion.ca/eb.
     
  • FB: We put forward proposals to protect against the elimination of officer positions due to the introduction of technological change. The team also sought to protect compressed work weeks and prevent management from making unilateral changes to schedules. For more info: psacunion.ca/fb.
  • PA: We focused on working conditions in contact centres and the need to implement minimum standards in these workplaces. Our team also emphasized the importance of implementing shift scheduling by seniority. For more info: psacunion.ca/pa.
     
  • SV: Our ship’s crew subcommittee finalized the proposals that we will bring to the next round of bargaining. For more info: psacunion.ca/sv.
  • TC: Discussions focused on the need to better protect health and safety and to expand the definition of “family,” to remove discriminatory language. The team discussed hours of work, and the need to provide more allowances that recognize the unique and difficult nature of TC members’ work. For more info: psacunion.ca/tc.

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February 5, 2016
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