PSAC-CIU and the employer will appear before a Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearing May 10, 18 and 20. Both sides will present their arguments on the outstanding issues at the bargaining table, and then the Commission will prepare a report with its recommendations to reach a settlement.
Talks broke off in December when the FB bargaining team declared impasse over Treasury Board and Canada Border Services Agency’s refusal to address the key issues raised in negotiations.
How a Public Interest Commission works
By law, once impasse is reached, a Public Interest Commission is established to help the parties reach an agreement. The Commission is a panel of three – a chairperson agreed upon by both parties or, if no agreement is reached, appointed by the Labour Board, as well as nominees appointed by the union and management.
The union and the employer both submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing. The Commission then provides its recommendations for both parties to reach an agreement. Unlike arbitration, the Commission’s recommendations are not binding.
Once the PIC releases its report, the FB bargaining team will meet to discuss the recommendations. Typically, bargaining teams and the employer return to the table to resume negotiations after the PIC.