PSAC has been fighting to protect workers from layoffs and contracting out for decades, and that work continues today.
In a recent survey, almost 90 per cent of PSAC members told us that improving job security is an important issue in this round of bargaining. One in five named it as a top priority.
We built the groundwork in the 1990s by negotiating the Work Force Adjustment (WFA) appendix, the part of your contract that protects members from layoffs. In later rounds, PSAC made significant improvements to that part of the collective agreement.
Our bargaining teams are continuing to negotiate even better contract language around downsizing.
PSAC wants to see a more transparent WFA process, with mandatory joint union/management WFA committees across the board and not at the discretion of management.
We also want to see increased fairness. More employees are threatened with potential displacement than necessary, and employees are forced to re-interview for their own jobs, resulting in serious stress and other mental health impacts.
Our bargaining team is bringing forward proposals at the common issues table to make sure all members have a quick pathway through the process, prompt access to indeterminate employment, more options around retraining, and the ability to explore remote work arrangements when placed in a WFA situation.
Strengthening the WFA appendix is a priority for us this round.
But our bargaining teams are also working towards protecting PSAC members’ jobs in other ways.
Privatization and contracting out
Over the past two years, PSAC members never stopped delivering frontline services, getting new programs up and running in record time, and helping Canadians through the pandemic.
Canada will get through the pandemic in much better shape than other countries, thanks to strong public services.
But privatization and contracting out weaken critical public services, and Canadians suffer for it. Just look at health care, where private long-term care facilities saw tragic public health outcomes when COVID-19 hit.
Privatization and contracting out means higher costs, more risk, and reduced quality of services for Canadians. Our country needs stronger public services and public accountability, not the erosion of public services Canadians rely on.
PSAC members know this, and our union has campaigned against privatization for many years.
We’ve won many fights, most recently at Canada Revenue Agency and Service Canada, where we successfully brought contracted out call center (1-800-O-Canada) and admin work back in-house, as well as at the Department of National Defense, which is now taking a harder look at its use of contractors.
Our union is now taking this fight to the bargaining table, where consultation, transparency, and shared information around contracting out are key priorities.
Our bargaining teams are putting forward new contract language calling on Treasury Board to use existing employees or hire and train new employees before contracting jobs out, share information and consult with PSAC prior to using contractors, and review the use of temporary staffing agencies.
This will protect our work and our jobs.
It also ensures that Canadians continue to receive the high-quality federal public services they count on every day.