EB group reaches tentative agreement

July 23, 2020

PSAC has reached a tentative agreement that provides increases to wages, no concessions, and improved working conditions for nearly 1,000 members of the Education and Library Science (EB) group under Treasury Board.

In addition to these successful talks, EB members will also be awarded a Phoenix damages settlement to compensate members for the pain and suffering caused by the broken pay system. Please read the update which provides greater detail on the general Phoenix compensation portion of the settlement, as well as the expansion of the claims process for out-of-pocket expenses and for those who suffered major losses because of Phoenix.

EB Group settlement

The PSAC bargaining team successfully secured fair wage increases averaging at 2.11% per year. EB group members would receive the following wage increases:
2018   2019   2020
2.8%   2.2%   1.35%

In addition to these wage increases, the following group-specific wage adjustments and allowances were also secured: ​

  • Implementation of a new, national pay grid for 12-month teachers and instructors.

Other improvements to the EB collective agreement include: ​

  • Increase in maternity related reassignment or leave qualification from 52 to 78 weeks following the birth of a child
  • A new leave provision for members elected to union leadership
  • An increase in meal allowance for overtime from $9 to $12
  • Set timelines for receiving a response to vacation leave requests
  • Improvements to travel time to pay for up to five hours of compensation for any stop-overs
  • Language that emphasizes the importance of professional development activities, such as conferences and workshops, for LS members
  • Commitment from the Employer to consult with the Union in the next review of Treasury Board’s policy on indemnification
  • Commitment from the Employer to prepare informational material on employees’ injury on duty rights and benefits
  • Ability for ED-EST ten-month teachers to use their personal leave in 7.5 or 3.75 segments (Article 60)
  • An MOU for a Joint Committee to address the issues related to teaching time and preparation time for Language Teachers (ED-LAT)
  • An MOU for a Joint Committee to address the teaching of indigenous languages for 10-month teachers at INAC
  • Increases to funding for the Joint Learning Program, including a pilot study on health and safety training

Common issues settlement

Two weeks ago, when we obtained a settlement for the PA group, PSAC also reached a settlement for Treasury Board issues common to all groups. Some of the key improvements include:

  • A one-time payment of $500 in recognition of the extended collective agreement implementation deadline and an additional $50 for every subsequent 90-day delay
  • Ten days of paid Domestic Violence Leave
  • Better language on return to work following a Maternity or Parental Leave, giving more flexibility to parents who wish to change positions within the federal public service
  • Improvements to Parental Leave pay
  • Updated language to match the new legislation including a new extended leave option and the sharing of Parental Leave
  • Expanded supplementary allowance for every week an employee is on extended or shared Parental Leave
  • Additional weeks for parents covered under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, when both parents work in the public service
  • New Memorandum of Understanding to explore the issues related to childcare in the public service
  • Updated and improved language to match the new legislation on Compassionate Care and Caregiving Leave
  • Better language to allow the use of employer facilities for union activities
  • New Memorandum of Understanding to protect certain working conditions of civilian members of the RCMP
  • New Memorandum of Understanding on mental health in the workplace to support the work of the Centre for Expertise on Mental Health
  • In the event of workforce adjustment, the education allowance has increased to $17,000
  • Deletion of Memorandum of Understanding on Supporting Employee Wellness. As a result, Sick Leave will remain untouched.

Full text and next steps

We will share the final text and full details of the EB group tentative agreement, and common issues agreement, as soon as it becomes available. Shortly thereafter, EB members will be invited to participate in online ratification votes. Details about the votes will be shared as soon as possible.

The PSAC bargaining team unanimously recommends the ratification of the tentative agreement.

To ensure that you receive all updates and can participate in the ratification process, please ensure that you have either updated your contact information on PSAC’s member portal, or that you create an account if you have not done so already.

Source: psacunion.ca/eb-group-reaches-tentative-agreement

 

 

TC group reaches tentative agreement

July 21, 2020

PSAC has reached a tentative agreement that provides a fair wage increase, no concessions, and improved working conditions for the nearly 10,000 members in the TC group.

In addition to these successful talks, TC members will also be awarded a Phoenix damages settlement to compensate members for the pain and suffering caused by the broken pay system. Please read the update which provides greater detail on the general Phoenix compensation portion of the settlement, as well as the expansion of the claims process for out-of-pocket expenses and for those who suffered major losses because of Phoenix.

TC group settlement

PSAC’s bargaining team successfully secured fair wage increases averaging at 2.11% per year. TC group members would receive the following wage increases:

2018   2019   2020

2.8%   2.2%   1.35%

In addition to those wage increases, the following group-specific wage adjustments and allowances were also secured: ​

  • EG parity with CFIA: Although we were not able to achieve parity, we have secured a commitment that we can file for arbitration on this issue outside of regular bargaining. We can do so as early as June 2021. We feel that we have very strong arguments to make the case to achieve parity for EG members.
  • Occupational allowances for the following groups shall increase to $3,534:
    Fishery Officers (Appendix Z)
    Environment and Wildlife Enforcement Officers (AA)
    Labour Affairs Officers (DD)
    Measurement Canada Inspectors (EE)
  • Increase to allowance for Search and Rescue coordinators in a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (CC) to $5,354; expansion of allowance to supervisors, and to qualified EG and GT hovercraft crew members
  • Expansion of allowance for Enforcement and Wildlife Officers at Environment Canada to cover GT-06 and GT-07 levels (AA)
  • Expansion of the $2,500 allowance to cover all EG and TIs working in fleet maintenance facilities (BB) including those at 202 Workshop Depot
  • Expansion of the allowance for Labour Affairs Officers to cover TI-06 levels (DD)
  • Expansion of the allowance to TI employees at the Canadian Grain Commission (EE)
  • Improvement in allowance for certain shore-based positions at the Canadian Coast Guard (W): increase of ~$2,100 to the amounts payable to the GT-06 and GT-07 level and expansion in scope.
  • Improvement to Transportation of Dangerous Goods allowance, now payable as a monthly allowance of $75 rather than a daily allowance of $3.50.

Other improvements to the TC collective agreement include: ​

  • Several leave improvements including for a person who stands in place of a relative for:
    Leave without Pay for the Care of the family
    Bereavement Leave
    Leave with Pay for Family-Related Responsibilities
  • An increase in meal allowance for overtime from $10 to $12
  • Improvements to travel time to pay for up to five hours compensation for any stop-overs
  • Employees in the Sea Lamprey Control Unit (Appendix I): Improvement in overtime compensation – 1.75X rate will be paid during field season
  • Increases to funding for the Joint Learning Program, including a pilot study on health and safety training
  • Memorandum of Understanding for a Joint Study on employee support mechanisms for employees who in the course of their duties are exposed to explicit and disturbing material, and/or potentially threatening situations
  • Memorandum of Understanding for Joint Review of hours of work and applicability of travel status for Fishery Officers working offshore surveillance at DFO (Appendix C) to make proposals and inform next round of bargaining.
  • Deletion of language in Appendix K which places limits on when EGs can request vacation
  • Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Occupational Group Structure (OGS) review

Common issues settlement

Two weeks ago, when we obtained a settlement for the PA group, PSAC also reached a settlement for Treasury Board issues common to all groups. Some of the key improvements include:

  • A one-time payment of $500 in recognition of the extended collective agreement implementation deadline and an additional $50 for every subsequent 90-day delay
  • Ten days of paid Domestic Violence Leave
  • Better language on return to work following a Maternity or Parental Leave, giving more flexibility to parents who wish to change positions within the federal public service
  • Improvements to Parental Leave pay
  • Updated language to match the new legislation including a new extended leave option and the sharing of Parental Leave
  • Expanded supplementary allowance for every week an employee is on extended or shared Parental Leave
  • Additional weeks for parents covered under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, when both parents work in the public service
  • New Memorandum of Understanding to explore the issues related to childcare in the public service
  • Updated and improved language to match the new legislation on Compassionate Care and Caregiving Leave
  • Better language to allow the use of employer facilities for union activities
  • New Memorandum of Understanding to protect certain working conditions of civilian members of the RCMP
  • New Memorandum of Understanding on mental health in the workplace to support the work of the Centre for Expertise on Mental Health
  • In the event of workforce adjustment, the education allowance has increased to $17,000
  • Deletion of Memorandum of Understanding on Supporting Employee Wellness. As a result, Sick Leave will remain untouched.

Full text and next steps

We will share the final text and full details of the TC group tentative agreement, and common issues agreement, as soon as it becomes available. Shortly thereafter, TC members will be invited to participate in online ratification votes. Details about the votes will be shared as soon as possible.

The PSAC bargaining team unanimously recommends the ratification of the tentative agreement.

To ensure that you receive all updates and can participate in the ratification process, please ensure that you have either updated your contact information on PSAC’s member portal, or that you create an account if you have not done so already.

Source: http://psacunion.ca/tc-group-reaches-tentative-agreement

Clarification on the Phoenix Damages

UNE has been given clarification from PSAC with respect to the PSAC Communications re: Phoenix-related damages.

1. The ratification process for Treasury Board (TBS) units had two conditions. One, that we arrive at a tentative agreement at PA and two, that the agreement would be ratified by the PSAC which occurred when the NBOD ratified the damages agreement on July 3, 2020.

2. Parallel agreements will need to be concluded for the following units under TBS control. There has been a commitment by TBS to fund these agreements:

Separate Agencies

  • Parks Canada Agency
  • Statistical Survey Operations (SSO) (Regional Offices/Field Survey Interviewers)
  • Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG)
  • Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (Administrative and Foreign Service/Administrative Support)

3. The following groups will need to be settled/bargained for separately. These groups are outside of TBS control:

Parliamentary Precinct or Crown Corporations

  • Library of Parliament
  • House of Commons
  • Senate
  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
  • National Battlefields Commission (NBC)

The details of the memorandum agreement with respect to all aspects of Phoenix damages will be relayed by PSAC Communications.

 

Deal reached for Phoenix damages, PA group and common issues

July 9, 2020

In a victory for federal public service workers who have gone above and beyond to support Canadians during this pandemic, PSAC has reached a tentative agreement that provides fair wages, no concessions, and improved working conditions for the 70,000 members of the PA group, and Treasury Board common issues.

Alongside these successful talks, PSAC has also secured proper compensation for Phoenix damages to be paid to PSAC members for the pain and suffering caused by the broken pay system.

Phoenix damages

PSAC successfully negotiated a Phoenix damages settlement that is significantly better than the employer’s deal with other federal bargaining agents. Last year, PSAC rejected the government’s meagre offer of 5 days of cashable leave, which was too little and would have rewarded those who earn more while punishing workers who make less. The current agreement provides PSAC members with a fair and equitable lump sum payment of $2,500.

Unlike the tentative deal for Treasury Board bargaining that must be voted on by PSAC members in the near future, the Phoenix damages agreement required ratification by the PSAC National Board of Directors. The Board voted unanimously in favour of the offer on July 3, 2020.

Please read the following update which provides greater detail on the general Phoenix compensation portion of the settlement, as well as the expansion of the claims process for out-of-pocket expenses and for those who suffered major losses because of Phoenix.

PA Group settlement

The PSAC bargaining team successfully secured fair wage increases averaging at 2.11% per year.

PA group members would receive the following wage increases:

2018  2019  2020
2.8%  2.2%  1.35%

In addition to those wage increases, the following group-specific wage adjustments and allowances were also secured: ​

  • Improved retention allowance expanded for all employees working in compensation operations to $3,500 per year
  • A new $3,000 annual allowance for armed Fishery Officers
  • A new Primary Responsibility Allowance of $2,000 per year for parole officers and parole officer supervisors

Other improvements to the PA collective agreement include: ​

  • Increase in maternity related reassignment or leave qualification from 52 to 78 weeks following the birth of a child
  • Several leave improvements including for a person who stands in place of a relative for:
  • Leave without pay for the care of the family
  • Bereavement leave
  • Leave with pay for family-related responsibilities
  • A new leave provision for members elected to union leadership
  • An increase in meal allowance for overtime from $10 to $12
  • New language to clarify that the Employer shall provide an unpaid meal break of a minimum of thirty (30) minutes per full working day, normally at the mid-point of the working day
  • Renewal and update of a memorandum of understanding on a Joint Study on the Work Environment for Employees Working in Call Centres
  • New provision that provides call centre employees with training on crisis intervention and coping
  • Increases to funding for the Joint Learning Program, including a pilot study on health and safety training
  • Language that explicitly provides breaks for nursing employees (to nurse or express breast milk)
  • Memorandum of understanding for a Joint Study on employee support mechanisms for employees who in the course of their duties are exposed to explicit and disturbing material, and/or potentially threatening situations
  • Joint committee to review the use of Indigenous languages in the federal public service, examine Indigenous language skills in the performance of employee duties and consider the advantages that Indigenous language speakers bring to the public service
  • Memorandum of understanding regarding Occupational Group Structure (OGS) review

Common issues settlement

Alongside negotiations for the PA group, PSAC bargaining teams for the TC, EB and SV groups also joined talks to reach a settlement for Treasury Board issues common to all groups. Some of the key improvements include:

  • A one-time payment of $500 in recognition of the extended collective agreement implementation deadline and an additional $50 for every subsequent 90-day delay
  • 10 days of paid domestic violence leave
  • Better language on return to work following a maternity or parental leave, giving more flexibility to parents who wish to change positions within the federal public service.
  • Improvements to parental leave pay

Updated language to match the new legislation including a new extended leave option and the sharing of parental leave
Expanded supplementary allowance for every week an employee is on extended or shared parental leave
Additional weeks for parents covered under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, when both parents work in the public service.

  • New memorandum of understanding to explore the issues related to childcare in the public service
  • Updated and improved language to match the new legislation on compassionate care and caregiving leave
  • Better language to allow the use of employer facilities for union activities
  • New memorandum of understanding to protect certain working conditions of civilian members of the RCMP
  • New memorandum of understanding on mental health in the workplace to support the work of the Centre for Expertise on Mental Health
  • In the event of workforce adjustment, the education allowance has increased to $17,000
  • Deletion of Memorandum of Understanding on Supporting Employee Wellness. As a result, sick leave will remain untouched.

Full text and next steps

In the coming days when the final text and full details of the tentative agreement for the PA group and common issues are available, they will be shared with the membership. PA members will shortly thereafter be invited to participate in online ratification votes. Details about the votes will be shared as soon as possible.

The PSAC bargaining team unanimously recommends the ratification of the tentative agreement.

To ensure that you receive all updates and can participate in the ratification process, please ensure that you have either updated your contact information on the PSAC’s member portal, or that you create an account if you have not done so already.

Other PSAC bargaining groups
Bargaining dates for the SV group will be announced in the weeks to come. Negotiations for the EB, TC and Canada Revenue Agency groups will resume next week.

Source: http://psacunion.ca/deal-reached-for-phoenix-damages-pa-group-common-issues

 

Gaps remain in government’s return to workplace plan

June 26, 2020

This week, the government released its guidelines for federal public service workers to return to the office as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease across the country. The plan doesn’t outline when employees will be asked to return to the workplace, instead leaving it up to each department to gradually transition their staff based on a series of conditions that must first be met.

Treasury Board has implemented a number of PSAC’s recommendations, including a clear acknowledgement that collective agreements will be respected, recognition that improving access to mental health support is necessary, and that health and safety committees and unions will be consulted.

The guidelines also acknowledge that many workers won’t be able to return to the office until they have access to important services like child care and schools for their children. Further, they recognize other important preconditions like the availability of PPE; the ability to prepare and maintain a clean and safe physical space; and the coordination mechanisms needed to plan, supervise and monitor the transition.

PSAC has some concerns with the current guidelines:

  • Since department heads will oversee the return to workplaces, there is a risk that the guidelines will not be followed consistently across the federal public service. Local managers should not be allowed to create unequal working conditions between departments.
  • We want to make sure that appropriate scientific experts are determining whether worksites are safe and what personal protective equipment is required – not local managers
  • We expect workers to get at least two weeks’ notice before they’re asked to return to the workplace.
  • There was little about consulting employment equity committees on issues related to return to the workplace for designated groups, including people with disabilities. We urged the government to commit to a process that takes into account COVID-19’s impact on diverse groups such as women, racialized workers, LGBTQ2+ workers, Indigenous workers and those with disabilities.

Until there is a vaccine, keeping both our members and the public safe means allowing employees to work remotely for as long as needed, and ensuring workplaces have all the appropriate safety measures in place should they return to the workplace.

New telework policy?

As he announced the new guidelines, Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos said that one lesson learned from the pandemic is that it’s possible and perhaps practical for some public servants to work from home permanently. He added that the government has started reflecting on the number of offices and office spaces that they want over the next few years.

COVID-19 has created an opportunity to rethink telework in the federal public service, but changes to our members’ working conditions must be negotiated with our union in full consultation with the membership.

Source: PSAC

For the Public Good: The growing threat of privatization and workers’ proposals to protect our future

PSAC has been one of several unions participating in the Canadian Labour Congress’ Task Force on New Forms of Privatization. On June 25, the Task Force has released its report For the Public Good: The growing threat of privatization and workers’ proposals to protect our future.

The report is the culmination of a thorough analysis of new forms of privatization, in particular social impact bonds (SIBs), pension fund and investor participation in privatized infrastructure, and new federal agencies that motivate and support privatization of services and infrastructure. Which by any measure, should be fully within the public sector in order to serve the public interest. These agencies – The Canada Infrastructure Bank, FinDev Canada, and the Social Finance Fund, along with more traditional forms of privatization, all contribute to the growing instability in public services, at a time when we, more than ever, need a robust public service to ensure competent and effective services for Canadians.

While largely written prior to the COVID19 pandemic, the report does raise the critical role that public services have had in Canada’s response to the crisis. Public sector workers – PSAC members – have been doing this critical work across the country – at the control hub of the response at the Public Health Agency of Canada, in food plants ensuring our food is safe, at our borders and our airports, delivering emergency benefits to workers and to businesses, developing and testing vaccines and treatments.

In some sectors, privatization has resulted in devastating loss of life. We only need to look at the privatized Long-Term Care homes to see the very real, and very tragic results when profit comes before people.

The report outlines a hopeful path forward, bringing public services back in house, and furthering best practices for publicly funded, built and maintained infrastructure that will be critical to not only the recovery from the economic crisis stemming from the COVID19 pandemic, but will also be instrumental in better weathering future crises, whether pandemics, climate change or other.

Help with Phoenix Pay Issues

In recent months, everyone has been overwhelmed by the changes in their work and home life because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, thousands of public service workers are still faced with old and new Phoenix pay problems.

We want to remind all PSAC members of the resources they have available from their employer as well as from their union – and their ability to claim expenses they are owed.

Follow this step-by-step guide if you are experiencing pay issues.

1. Speak to your manager (current employees)

Once you are certain that a pay issue has occurred, the first step is to contact your section 34 manager. Explain to your manager when the problem happened and the nature of the issue.

You may expect your manager to guide you through your department’s human resource (HR) process and identify the best options available for your issue. Three courses of action are possible:

  1. Contacting the Public Service Pay Centre (PSPC)
  2. Submitting a pay action request (PAR)
  3. Submitting a Phoenix feedback form

Proactively follow-up with your manager to ensure they have completed all critical tasks to advance your casefile with the Public Service Pay Centre. Once your pay action request is received by the pay centre, you can track its progress by using the Track myCASE web application.

2. Contact your union (current and former employees)

If you are experiencing delays processing your Phoenix pay issues, the Public Service Alliance of Canada will escalate issues with the PSPC Client Service Bureau on your behalf.

Review the suggested courses of action for each pay issue scenario or get in touch with our pay issue specialists through our general inquiries form. Select Phoenix pay issue from the What is your inquiry about? drop down menu. A member of our team will contact you with updates as soon as they become available.

3. Claim out-of-pocket expenses

You may be eligible to make a claim if you have incurred out-of-pocket expenses because of Phoenix pay problems. Eligible expenses include banking fees for non-sufficient funds (NSF), financial penalty charges, interest payments, tax expenses, and more. Submit an expense claim online or contact your departmental claims officer for help with this process.

Learn more about PSAC’s negotiations for fair compensation for the harm done by Phoenix or visit our Phoenix landing page for other updates.

Source: http://psacunion.ca/get-help-phoenix-pay-issues

Bargaining to resume for 100,000 PSAC members

After months of pressure from PSAC and its members, the federal government has agreed to return to the bargaining table. Negotiations for 70,000 federal public service workers in the PA group – PSAC’s largest bargaining unit – will resume with Treasury Board June 23 to July 3. It will include Treasury Board common issues and Phoenix damages.

Bargaining will also resume for nearly 30,000 PSAC-UTE members at Canada Revenue Agency the week of July 6.

“Elsewhere in Canada, the need to provide stability and fair compensation to public service workers during this pandemic was recognized months ago – provinces, municipalities and large employers across the country have been negotiating and settling contracts,” said PSAC National President Chris Aylward. “It’s high time the federal government did the same for their employees.”

Throughout the pandemic, PSAC members have been on the front lines battling the virus and delivering emergency financial support to millions of Canadians. They continue to provide critical services despite not having a new contract or wage increases in up to four years.

They also continue to endure Phoenix pay issues and have yet to be fairly compensated for their financial hardships.

“The government has clearly listened to the more than 15,000 PSAC members who wrote to them in recent weeks urging Treasury Board to get back to the table,” said Aylward. “It shouldn’t take that kind of pressure to get back to negotiations, but I’m grateful to our members for supporting our bargaining teams in such large numbers.”

“And it’s a welcome change to see the government – during National Public Service Week no less – move from kind words about our members, to action,” added Aylward. “Now they have to show up with a mandate to reach a fair settlement without any more delays.”

Updates for other Treasury Board bargaining units will be coming soon.

June is National Indigenous History Month

By Michael Freeman

June, In Canada, is celebrated as National Indigenous History Month. Indigenous Peoples have lived and thrived in the territory that is now known as North America for millennia. Oh, people may argue with the exact timeline but oral history and traditional knowledge are all that We, the Original Peoples, need as substantiation.

National Indigenous History Month is a time for remembering, a time for learning, a time for celebrating, a time for healing, a time for growth, a time of unification, a time of reconciliation, a time of hope and a time for like-minded peoples to come together to be stronger in unity.

Indigenous Peoples within Canada (defined as Aboriginal, Metis, Inuit) have had a diverse history and a unique experience coast to coast to coast, interrupted, complicated and forever altered by the arrival of explorers and immigration to this land. The struggle to coexist has been the foundation of a fluid relationship fluctuating from confrontational, at the worst of times, to one of pride and celebration, at the best of times.

Through your own search and study, explore the rich history of Indigenous Peoples. Be sure to research a good mix of historical documents, treaty documents, policy and documents of reconciliation. There are many current Indigenous authors and a wealth of their works to keep you connected, reading and learning for many weeks and months to come. Do not fall into the trap of reading only the history tomes written by non-Indigenous authors and filtered through their non-Indigenous lenses.

Due to the current pandemic affecting every aspect of society, many of the gatherings, celebrations and ceremonies planned in honour and recognition of the rich and storied history of Indigenous Peoples have been postponed or cancelled. Look to the virtual experience as you explore the many web portals available.

It is time to loose the bondage of the undercurrent of racism, in this country, against Indigenous Peoples. Become part of the solution, if you are not already, by committing to understanding the true relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples and actively working to improve it. Dig deeper than the spectacular layers of pageantry and the ignorant layers of the stereotypical.

Be curious. Be teachable. Be willing to learn. Be open to new ideas. But above all, enjoy the experience.

Michael Freeman is the UNE’s National Equity Representative for Persons with Disabilities, member of the EB Bargaining Team, President of UNE Local 00128, and a teacher and policy writer for ISC on the Six Nations Reservation in Ontario.