I heard we were at impasse, what does this mean? What is a Public Interest Commission?
Under the law, once impasse is reached, a Public Interest Commission (PIC) is established to help the parties reach an agreement. The Commission is a panel of three – a Chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and nominees appointed by the union and management. The union and the employer submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing with the Commission. The Commission then makes a report with recommendations for settlement. Unlike arbitration, the Commission’s recommendations are not binding.
Does the Public Interest Commission take a long time?
Under the Public Service Labour Relations Act, the PIC has 30 days to issue its report, although the Chairperson can take more time if necessary. Once the report has been issued, our bargaining team will meet to discuss it. While the report’s recommendations are not binding, they can form the basis for the union and Treasury Board to resume negotiations.
Are we going on strike?
A strike is always a last resort. A strike will only take place if a majority of members vote in favour of strike action. If they do, the strike must be authorized by the PSAC National President.