Parks Canada bargaining: No Employer mandate means no progress

The Parks Canada bargaining team met with the employer for our third three-day session November 22-24. The team came prepared with a clear mandate from members to discuss more than 40 proposals to advance a clear mandate to improve conditions for workers.  

After nine days of meetings, however, it’s clear that the employer has no mandate to meaningfully negotiate with us. 

During the last bargaining session, the bargaining team provided a comprehensive response to all of Parks Canada’s proposals. Since our last session, our team has prepared a full package of monetary and non-monetary demands to bring to the table.  

Unfortunately, there was no meaningful engagement from the employer. As negotiations wrapped up, the employer couldn’t even provide a response on a proposal to make the language of the collective agreement gender neutral. Our contract for Parks Canada workers expired more than a year ago in August 2021. Our members have been waiting long enough;, we need a fair deal now. 

Why is bargaining taking so long? 

The bargaining process can seem complicated. To make sure you know exactly where we are and why the process sometimes feels like it is stalled, read this explainer. It’s important to remember it’s often in the employer’s best interest to delay negotiations for as long as possible, while our union is pushing to reach the best contract possible for our members.  

A key part of the bargaining teams’ demands to improve workplaces for Parks Canada members is to join the National Joint Council and Joint Learning Program. Membership in these federal bodies would help us reach workable and achievable solutions to challenges that Parks workers face but the employer continues to drag their feet on at the bargaining table. We firmly believe Parks Canada needs to join both.  

About the National Joint Council and Joint Learning Program 

Joint Learning Program (JLP)

The Joint Learning Program (JLP) is a partnership between PSAC and Treasury Board meant to improve labour relations and boost understanding of union and management roles in the workplace. Issues addressed in JLP programming include anti-racism, mental health in the workplace, and understanding collective agreements. All union members in the core public service are eligible to participate.  

The ‘core’ public service refers to more than 70 federal departments and agencies named in the Financial Administration Act. Right now, Parks Canada Agency is a separate employer, with a separate collective agreement and compensation levels for workers.  

National Joint Council’s (NJC)

The goal is to improve and advance workplace benefits with leadership from both the union and employer. Like the JLP, membership is restricted to the core public administration. However, the NJC includes Treasury Board and ‘separate employers’ as members, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Our bargaining team has proposed that Parks Canada join the NJC so that all Parks members have a say in policies affecting them.

What’s next? 

Our members have lost more than 10% of our buying power over the past 2 years without a new contract, and Parks Canada workers – many who are seasonal workers – are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Our team will make a wage proposal that works for Parks Canada members at the next meeting in January, when we expect a clear mandate and meaningful engagement from the employer. 

Upcoming bargaining dates 

  • January 17-19  
  • February 7-9  

Show your support online 

For questions about the bargaining process, contact your local PSAC regional office, Union of National Employees local, or Union of Canadian Transportation Employees local.   


December 9, 2022