Treasury Board bargaining teams reject attacks on sick leave, promote public services

Our union spent the week of September 9th in negotiations with Treasury Board. We were united in our mission to improve working conditions and reject attacks on crucial benefits such as sick leave.

The government presented the same proposal to gut sick leave to all of the Treasury Board bargaining tables. Among other things, the government’s proposal calls for a short-term disability plan, the elimination of sick leave banks and a maximum of 37.5 hours of sick leave a year. All of the PSAC bargaining teams rejected this proposal.

“Our union comes to the bargaining table every three years or so to improve wages and working conditions for our members,” said Robyn Benson, National President of the PSAC. “We are prepared to negotiate any provisions that will result in a healthier workplace and that will improve the public service. We are not interested in Treasury Board’s sick leave proposal, which will do neither.”

  • PA group update: Our team expressed our outrage about Treasury Board’s lack of progress on classification reform. We signed off on a change of mileage rates to kilometric rates, which is consistent with the National Joint Council directive. Other discussions centred on adding gender identity and expression to the “no discrimination” clause; adding to Treasury Board policies on pre-retirement, self-funded leave and leave with income averaging; amending the compassionate care language and moving it to a stand-alone article, and expanding the definition of family in the collective agreement.
  • FB group update: We discussed prohibiting abuse of authority and demanding protections against management harassment and surveillance in the workplace. We also introduced proposals that would greatly enhance protections in the context of discipline. Other topics included excessive management discretion concerning career advancement and tuition reimbursement. We also spoke against the contracting out of our work, including work performed by our Inland Enforcement members.
  • TC group update: We promoted members’ rights, including discipline, hours of work, no discrimination, acting assignments, and other articles. We were able to sign off small changes to Standby, Overtime and Reporting Pay, but a lot of work remains to improve our collective agreement and deny the employer’s many demands for concessions.
  • SV group update: Discussions continued over the three days with questions being asked by both sides to clarify the proposals tabled. Our team took every effort to focus attention on our proposals. We were very clear to the employer that we were at the table to negotiate improvements that will benefit our members, such as fair wages.
  • EB group update: We continue to push forward on issues such as hours of work, discipline and employee performance. The employer wants to prevent our members from carrying over certain types of accumulated leave. The union explained its proposal and the meaning of different definitions or articles on topics such as whistleblowing, definition of family and harassment.


September 12, 2014